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Non-chemical Treatment Devices
Limitations of Alternate Treatments
Know the limitations of new technologies that offer alternative choices to traditional chemical-based cooling tower treatment.
In the last few years, an increasing number of existing and newly constructed facilities have begun using non-chemical treatment devices to meet their basic water treatment needs. Common types are magnetic, pulsed electric field, electrostatic, ultrasonic, and hydrodynamic cavitation. SBWR customers who are using electromagnetic treatment devices say that with recycled water, the device generally limits around two cycles of concentration.

When considering such non-chemical devices, you should be aware that it is not permitted for a cooling tower operator to rely solely on non-chemical methods to treat recycled water. This is due to State Water Resources Control Board - Division of Drinking Water (SWRCB - Division of Drinking Water) regulations that require that recycled water in cooling towers must be treated with biocide to control Legionella growth and other disease causing organisms. SWRCB - Division of Drinking Water does not accept any non-chemical treatment device as an alternative to chemical biocide.

Nothing, however, prohibits using these devices in conjunction with biocide treatment, and a cooling tower operator does not have to invest in a complex or expensive biocide dosing system. Treatment can be as simple as filling a floating container with biocide tablets and allowing it to drift in the tower basin.