It is that time of year again to crank up the air conditioners and scramble to find ways to cool down. It is also the start of ‘cooling season’ for office buildings, hospitals, hotels, and other large buildings that are beginning to run their large cooling towers, and in doing so, unknowingly release gallons of toxic water into municipal sewer systems.
“Most people understand that the summer weather requires buildings to use more energy but what they don’t understand is that the cooler a building gets, the more chemicals are discharged into our municipal sewage system,” said Murray McCaig, CEO of EnviroTower, a Toronto- based company that has developed a unique, patented technology to eliminate chemical use in large cooling towers. The technology, which has been adopted by prominent buildings such as Toronto Western hospital, City of Mississauga and all 45 schools within the Dufferin-Peel school board, allows companies to completely stop using chemicals in their cooling towers and significantly reduce their energy and water consumption.
“The potential impact of this technology is huge. If every cooling tower in Ontario installed this system, there would be 4 million gallons (15.6 million litres) less chemicals discharged into the municipal water system, and 4 billion kilowatt-hours of energy (equivalent to 400,000 households) and 6 billion gallons of water saved (equivalent to 200,000 households) – not to mention the fact that employees wouldn’t have to handle toxic materials,” said EnviroTower’s chief scientist, Jim Dart, who worked for the Ministry of Environment in the area of water treatment for over 30 years.
Essentially, the Envirotower technology, is a simple retrofit onto a cooling tower which prevents scale from forming and bacteria from growing on the inside of a cooling system- factors that are normally controlled with chemicals such as scale and corrosion inhibitors, biocides and disinfectants. By eliminating the scale, the tower runs up to 25% more efficiently, and reduces water use by up to 25%. “There are a lot of products that make sense from an environmental perspective but not a business perspective, this allows significant savings in both areas,” said McCaig. Companies typically find they have paid back their investment by 12 to 18 months.
Cooling towers, which are located in almost every large commercial and manufacturing facility, use water to provide cool air to reduce building temperatures, or to facilitate manufacturing processes such as cooling casting molds at a metal plant or cooling steam at a nuclear power plant.
EnviroTower is a water treatment system for cooling towers providing total control of all major problems including scale, fouling, corrosion and microbiological contamination. The patented system has no moving parts, no electricity, no maintenance and helps companies earn credits towards environmental certifications such as LEED.