Water Solutions: Improving the Technology Behind Water Treatment


Outbreaks of disease are always an intriguing and worrying topic with the public, and the widespread news of some very high profile cases regarding water treatment, both in New York City and Flint, Michigan, have left people concerned about water treatment, Legionnaires disease and the need for stricter laws and better practices concerning water management technology.

On today’s inaugural episode of Water Solutions with Chem-Aqua, Daniel Litwin, the Voice of B2B, talks with Chem-Aqua Engineering Manager, Jerry Angelilli, about industrial and commercial water treatment, and what improvements have been made to the equipment itself.

Angelilli is on the Association of Water Technology’s Technical Committee and is Chair of the Boiler Subcommittee. There, he gets consistent information regarding the latest and greatest innovations in boiler technology. The focus lately has been on how the industry treats piping to protect it from corrosion, mostly using chemicals called amines to treat the steam condensation systems, as well as the boilers themselves.

There have been standard technologies and best practices for many years to protect against corrosion and scale. Namely, not putting hard water in your boiler. Hard water is water that contains a higher level of calcium and magnesium, and water with those chemicals removed is what we’ve known to call soft water. When water in a boiler concentrates as steam is made, solids are left behind, so deposit inhibitors and rust and corrosion inhibitors need to be applied to help maintain the boiler’s integrity.

Boilers are only a small example of how water technology is changing. With the integration of higher quality sensors and proactive monitoring software, treatment facilities are able to detect potential hazards earlier in the process. But as we’ve seen, even the slightest imbalance in pH, chemicals or water source can drastically affect the flow of clean water.

Angelilli explains how this is motivating facility manager to treat water at the end of its journey: right before it comes out of the tap. This is becoming easier as chemical treatment standards have become more efficient and accessible. Though it may seem backwards to put the responsibility to sanitize water on the end-user, the lengthy trip that water takes from its initial source to filling a glass naturally creates more chances for that water to pick up sediment, pathogens and chemicals.

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