There are a multitude of industrial uses for water in this day and age. Take for example the food industry, the medical device industry or the pharmaceutical industry. Within these industries, water is required to meet a certain purity level. Purity levels in water correlate to the allowable amount of chemical impurities and viable and non-viable microbiological levels. This article will break down the 5 facts to know about industrial water treatment technology.
1. Reverse Osmosis is not enough. In industrial water systems, reverse osmosis units have tremendous benefit, but they are not enough to meet certain purity levels in water for many industrial uses. A reverse osmosis unit is a semi-permeable membrane that acts to prevent diffusion of chemical impurities. A reverse osmosis unit is better suited when it is accompanied by upstream filtration, carbon beds and mixed resin bed units. 0.2 and 0.45 micron filters will help prevent microbiological contamination while carbon beds will help filter incoming water from chemical impurities like chlorine.
2. Ultraviolet lamps provide tremendous microbial controls. The use of ultraviolet lamps, especially with wavelengths of 254 nanometers will destroy microorganisms flowing through the light. The light destroys the cell walls and works to disrupt the DNA of microorganisms. Ultraviolet lamps are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain. It is critical to make sure the flow of the water system is aligned with the specifications of the ultraviolet lamp.
3. Sanitization is key. The key to maintaining the effectiveness of any water system is the sanitization process. There is a wide variety of ways to sanitize industrial water systems. These includes chemical sanitization and hot water sanitization. Common chemical sanitizations include the use of ozone (O3), paracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide and Mincare. Both chemical sanitization and hot water are effective in removing microbiological contamination, including biofilms. Biofilms are when microorganisms bind to a food source (e.g. the wall of a PVC pipe) and multiple. They become protected by a slimy outer protective layer which can cause a lot of contamination issues in industrial water systems. Hot water and chemical sanitization are effective against biofilms, vegetative and spore forming microorganisms. Keeping a water system pure of bacterial contamination is critical, especially in pharmaceutical and medical device water systems.
4. Water systems change throughout the year. It is important to understand that seasonal variation effects the quality of water. Incoming water, prior to any treatment, will often have significantly higher microbiological contamination in summer months than it will in winter months. This is because there is more microbial activity in warmer months.
5. Maintenance needs to be a priority. Maintaining an industrial water system consists of changing filters, UV lamps and carbon beds. Any snag in your maintenance program will directly affect the water quality.