Another factor is Legionella prevention, which has become an industry-wide focus because of ASHRAE Standard 188-2015. Because cooling towers are one of the more common sources for growth of bacteria, proper maintenance (including cleaning and disinfecting) is crucial.

To help plants and facilities optimize their cooling tower cleaning operations, Goodway Technologies, a manufacturer of industrial cleaning equipment, compiled a five-step list to optimize cooling tower maintenance and cleaning.

  • Inspect towers at least monthly. Sediment, scale and slime can lead to buildup and help Legionella grow and thrive. Regular inspections will help determine when to schedule cleaning.
  • Clean tower basin surfaces. If sediment is visible, the basin needs to be cleaned and cooling tower vacuums make it easier to remove contaminants without shutting down or draining your system.
  • Descale the fill. The tower fill provides the perfect environment for bacterial growth, especially Legionella. A descaler will dissolve the scale and mineral deposits that Legionella like to hide in, leaving the surface ready for cleaning.
  • Clean the fill. A cooling tower fill cleaner will remove dirt and debris and inhibit the growth of other bacteria when utilized in conjunction with appropriate biocides.
  • Disinfect the tower. Cooling towers can be a dangerous breeding ground for bacteria, which makes it important to reduce the nutrients available for Legionella growth.