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What kind of water savings can be gained from focusing on cooling towers? The current cycle of conentration will be the best predictor of how much water can be saved; the lower the cycles, the more opportunity for savings. Typically, the average cooling tower will operate at two to four cycles of concentration. There is often an opportunity to raise the cycles safely to a practical upper limit of 10. Just increasing the cycles from two to six will result in a makeup water reduction of 40 percent and a blowdown reduction of 80 percent. So, for a 1,000-ton system that might use 10 million gallons of water a year, that would translate into a water savings of more than 4 million gallons annually. There is a diminishing return to increasing the cycles, however. As cycles increase above 10, the savings diminish rapidly.
Answers provided by Bill Harfst from the AT&T-EDF project team. Harfst is an independent water management consultant with Harfst and Associates, Inc. He has 40 years of experience in water treatment.
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