TRUST, QUALITY, PROGRESS
Steam Raising BoilersContaminants commonly found in natural waters reduce operating efficiency of boilers and other boiler plant equipment, leading to increased maintenance costs and reduced production capacity.
As water turns into steam and escapes into the steam distribution system, the water left behind in the boiler becomes more concentrated with contaminants and impurities which can damage the boiler.
The objective of boiler water treatment is the prevention of water related problems in steam generating systems and associated equipment.
These problems include:-
- Deposit formation
This normally necessitates the installation of a pretreatment plant (e.g. base exchange softener or reverse osmosis plant) to remove hardness and other mineral salts from boiler feed water to meet BS2486 standards.
Thereafter chemicals are added to condition the water; sulphite and caustic for corrosion control, phosphate/dispersant for scale/sludge control. To produce pure steam, the boiler blow-down requirements are to keep the total dissolved solids in the boiler within 2,500-3,500 ppm.
Alchem Industries provide an extensive range of boiler water treatment programmes for all boiler types and pressures, from power plants on large industrial sites to small heating systems in commercial properties.
The British Standard 2486 “water treatment for land boilers” gives a detailed break-down on the requirements and conditions for boiler feed water and boiler water.
The directive basically lists the requirement for keeping the boiler scale and corrosion free, whilst ensuring the production of pure steam.
The key focus of our chemical treatment programmes and regular service is to protect the fabric of your plant and equipment and ensure your process can continue unaffected.
We also wish to protect the on-going investment you make in water, energy, maintenance and labour.
Therefore protecting efficient operation is a prime objective for Alchem Industries.
Cooling Water Treatment
Evaporative cooling equipment works by the evaporation of a small percentage of the recirculating water. This process removes heat from the remaining water allowing it to be re-utilized for cooling purposes. Any impurities present will remain in the recirculating water and their concentration can increase rapidly to reach unacceptable levels. Airborne dust and dirt may also be introduced into the recirculating water, intensifying the problem.
If impurities and contaminants are not effectively controlled, they can cause scaling, corrosion and sludge accumulation which reduce heat transfer efficiency and increase your operating costs.
The cooling water also provides the ideal environment for the growth of many micro-organisms, including legionella bacteria; the bacterium which causes Legionnaires’disease.
Legionnaires’ disease is an uncommon but serious form of pneumonia. Although Legionnaires’ disease remains rare, cooling towers are the major source of outbreaks. All owners and users of cooling towers and evaporative cooling equipment should take the necessary steps to prevent the risk of outbreaks, thus safeguarding the health and safety of their employees and the general public.
Maintaining good water quality is vital to the safe and efficient operation of cooling towers.
Alchem Industries can provide a specifically-designed water treatment package for your system, taking into account factors such as make-up water quality, the materials of construction of the cooling water system and operating patterns.
It is important to keep records of all water treatment, monitoring and cleaning and disinfection actions. All records must be kept up-to-date and be readily available for inspection by the Health and Safety authorities.
In 2013 the HSE published a new Code of Practice L-8 on the control of legionella bacteria in water systems. This was supplemented with the associated technical guidance HSG274 part 1 specifically for cooling towers.
As part of the water treatment programme Alchem Industries will supply a cooling water treatment log book which will be audited by our consultants on a routine basis to ensure compliance with current legislation.Closed System Water Treatment
Closed System Water Treatment
Throughout industry there are a variety of closed water systems, such as chilled water, low- medium-high pressure hot water and air cooled cooling systems, that are critical in the safe and efficient operation of manufacturing processes.
In addition, institutional and commercial properties can have extensive closed heating and air conditioning systems which are an integral part of the building structure.
Closed water systems are designed to distribute heated or chilled water to a designated area. These systems are susceptible to corrosion, microbiological infection and sludge formation.
The rate of attack depends upon many factors including temperature, pH, dissolved gasses, dissolved solids, suspended solids and chemical inhibitor reserves.
The British Standards BSRIA guide BG50/2013 and BS2486 define incorrect, unsuitable or badly controlled water treatment products as a major cause of corrosion in these systems, leading to premature failure.Alchem Industries can provide a tailor-made programme which will include chemicals and service to optimise protection and operation of all types of closed systems including those containing aluminum.Legionella Bacteria and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Risk Assessments
Legionella Bacteria and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Risk Assessments
It is a legal duty to carry out a Legionella bacteria risk assessment and assess whether there is a risk posed by exposure to Legionella from the water systems in the premises.
The risk assessment should consider all aspects of the water system(s) and, whilst there will be common factors it should be specific to that individual system.
Legionella bacteria risk assessments for evaporative cooling towers and hot and cold water systems in hospitals, manufacturing sites, health care premises, care homes, office buildings, shared premises, schools and residential accommodation each require a very different approach and a different type of assessment.
The Alchem risk assessment team are highly experienced and Alchem use a unique scoring matrix to identify the factors which increase the risk of exposure for all of these different types of property.
The record of the assessment is a living document that must be reviewed to ensure it remains up-to-date.
An indication of when to review the assessment and what to consider, should be recorded, eg.
(a) changes to the water system or its use
(b) changes to the use of the building in which the water system is installed
(c) the availability of new information about risks or control measures
(d) the results of checks indicating that control measures are no longer effective
(e) changes to key personnel
(f) a case of legionnaire’s disease/legionellosis associated with the system
Our Legionella bacteria risk assessment complies fully with the British Standard BS8580 and the recently revised Approved Code of Practice L-8 “The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems” and the associated technical guidance HSG274.
The assessment may have indicated that there may be reasonably foreseeable risk from exposure arising from the water systems on site if these are not monitored or controlled.
Once the risk is identified and assessed, a Written Scheme should be prepared, implemented and properly managed by the Responsible Person. The Written Scheme should specify the various control measures and how to use and carry out these measures. Alchem staff will be able to help you prepare a bespoke Written Scheme for the water services on your site.
For hospitals and health services, Achem can also undertake a Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Risk Assessment which assesses both, the operational management as well as clinical practice to establish risk levels.
The record of the assessment is a living document that must be reviewed regularly to ensure it remains up-to-date.
Based on our experience over the last 20 years and Best Practice Alchem recommend to review the risk assessment for cooling towers annually whilst for other premises we recommend to continue the biennial frequency.
The Responsible Person should ensure the Legionella bacteria risk assessment remains up-to-date and current.Water Hygiene
Legionella management hot and cold water systems
Regulations require employers to monitor and record temperatures of hot and cold water systems and to keep suitable records of examinations, tests and repairs as a means of controlling legionella.
Some of the monitoring and inspections can be done in-house but depending on resources, you may want to delegate some of this work.
Hot and cold water services include cold water tanks, calorifiers, POU water heaters, combination water heaters, showers and spray taps, domestic base exchange softeners, TMV’s and expansion vessels. These need to be regularly inspected for temperature, cleanliness/operation and where applicable flushed.
Following the Legionella risk assessment and using the Written Scheme, Alchem will prepare a detailed Allocation of Responsibilities to ensure all tasks detailed in the Written Scheme are covered either by you or Alchem.
All our monitoring and inspection programmes are in accordance with the current ACOP(L-8) Code of Conduct and associated HSG274 part 2 technical guidance.
Each individual member of our water hygiene team is continuously checked for competency. They are assessed on knowledge, skills and attitude as well as in a practical way by means of on-the-job assessment.
Monitoring and inspection programmes start in the office with implementation of the Written Scheme and planning of the work. It finishes with either a hard copy or on-line reporting of results and regular reviews.
- Weekly flushing of infrequently used outlets
- Monthly recording of hot water temperature in sentinel taps
- Monthly recording of hot water temperatures in return legs of subordinate loops
- Monthly recording of cold water temperature in sentinel taps and at long branches
- Monthly recording of calorifier flow and return temperatures
- Annual inspection and flushing calorifier
- Thermal disinfection calorifier
- Annual temperature profile
- Monthly to 6-monthly temperature of POU water heaters
- Monthly outlet temperature at combination water heater
- Annual header tank inspection of combination water heater
- Header tank cleaning and disinfection
- Annual cold water tank temperature
- Annual cold water tank inspection
- Cold water tank cleaning and disinfection
- Quarterly clean of showerheads
- Quarterly clean of spray taps
- Annual inspection and cleaning TMV’s
- Monthly to six monthly flushing of expansion vessels
- Quarterly cleaning and disinfection of emergency shower heads
- Flushing through of emergency showers, eyebaths and face-wash fountains at least 6-monthly.
- Legionella sampling
- Water hygiene screening
- (where fitted) inspect water storage tanks feeding the emergency showers, eyebaths and face-wash fountains on a monthly basis.
ACOP(L-8) Cleaning and disinfection cooling tower systems
In accordance with L-8 guidelines, cleaning and disinfection of cooling towers should be undertaken at least twice a year. In general thorough cleaning and disinfection of a cooling tower is achieved by removal of the cooling tower pack. Where it is not reasonably practicable to remove the pack, in-situ foam cleaning can be carried out . Alchem Industries have a specialized PackCleanse range of products available for this application.
Domestic water services
H.S.E. guidance recommends that you inspect cold water storage tanks on an annual basis. Tanks should be drained, cleaned and disinfected if considered necessary. Alchem Industries provide a comprehensive cleaning and disinfection package in accordance with current Health and Safety requirements.
System contaminants such as millscale, jointing compounds and building debris will inevitably be found in newly fabricated pipework systems. If allowed to remain in the system in sufficient quantity these contaminants will make the system prone to blockage at strainers, control valves and small bore heat exchangers. They may also initiate further corrosion and encourage the growth of micro-organisms.
All precommission cleaning of heating, chilled and cooling systems are undertaken in accordance with BSRIA BG29/2012.
Flushing and sterilisation of new building domestic water services is carried out in accordance with BS8558 requirements.
Specialist descaling and chemical cleaning
Deposits on heat transfer surfaces in boilers, process heat exchangers or heating/cooling systems reduce their efficiency resulting in high energy costs or production loss. By removing these deposits, maximum system efficiency can be regained.
Acid cleaning involves the circulation of acid at a predetermined concentration and can be used for the removal of unwanted oxides and deposited scales from pipe surfaces.
The most commonly used acids for the removal of oxides from ferrous materials are inhibited hydrochloric acid, inhibited sulphamic acid or citric acid. Other chemicals may also be used for this purpose depending on system metallurgy and design.
Chemical degreasing and passivation
Stainless steel parts, equipment and systems require careful preparation before being taken into service for the production of food or pharmaceutical products.
All contaminants must be removed and the surfaces passivated. Validation tests and verification is carried out in accordance with ASTM A380 and A967 specifications.
Alchem Industries operate our own environmental services team and only use subcontracted labour in very specific cases and when requested by the customer.
Our staff will come fully prepared with Engineering Services Skillcard, national SAFEcontractor status, Confined Space training and site specific risk assessments.
Handling of chemicals will only be carried out by technicians who are suitably qualified, experienced and trained.
Safety is our number 1 priority in all aspects of our operations.Microbiological Sampling and Analytical Testing
Microbiological Sampling and Analytical Testing
Testing of water is an essential part of any treatment regime.
At Alchem Industries we are knowledgeable in chemistry, engineering, water quality, water treatment and microbiology.
Following ACOP(L-8) guidelines, microbiological activity in cooling tower water should be tested on a weekly basis. The most common method to measure microbiological activity within a cooling system is to use a dipslide. If the control strategy is effective, dipslide counts should be consistently low. Ongoing high microbiological counts will need to be checked by laboratory-based Total Aerobic Colony Counts (TACC’s).
In addition cooling tower water should be tested quarterly for the presence of Legionella bacteria to ensure effective control is being achieved by the routine water treatment.
Microbiological sampling of water storage tanks > 1,000 litres should be carried out on a 6-monthly basis (BS8558) or in case of taste or odour problems in domestic hot and cold water services to ensure the water is of potable quality.
Legionella sampling on domestic water system should be carried out :
• in systems where control levels of the treatment regime (e.g. temperature, biocide levels) are not being consistently achieved
• when an outbreak is suspected or has been identified
• in hospital wards with “at risk” patients (e.g. those immunologically compromised)
• based on conclusions reached in the risk assessment
Water sampling for Pseudomonas Aeruginosa will only be undertaken by staff trained in the appropriate technique. Sampling will include a pre-flush sample of water delivered from a tap following a time of no use. This will normally mean sampling in the early hours of the morning.
Alchem Industries offer a comprehensive chemical and microbiological analytical service. This includes analyses of environmental, process and domestic water samples.
All analyses are carried out by independent UKAS accredited laboratories.
Results together with interpretation, opinion and recommendations for remedial action are confirmed in writing.Facilities Management
Effective facility management is a multi-disciplinary service devoted to the maintenance and care of industrial, commercial or institutional buildings coordinating the necessary resources and activities.
We operate in partnership with several major Facility Management companies to provide the technical resources and activities required to fulfill the statutory requirement for legionella management and water hygiene.
Alchem Industries employ a dedicated team to provide the following nationwide services to FM companies.
Services and Products – Services to the Facilities Management Sector
- Legionella pneumophila risk assessments
- Preparation of specific and tailored written schemes
- Inspections and routine monitoring
- Training of site personnel
- Water hygiene sampling
- Legionella sampling
- On-line report tracker system
Carrying out these services in a diligent, timely and efficient manner and backed by an experienced office administration team we work with you to understand your business and fulfill all your client’s requirements. We are proud of the level of commitment and team spirit.
All inspections and routine monitoring are carried out to ACOP(L-8), HTM04-01, BS8580 or BS2486 specifications.
Alchem Industries can supply a web-based record keeping system or a bespoke log book as part of the routine inspection and monitoring packageTraining and Consultancy
Training and Consultancy
Alchem Industries offer a range of water treatment and Legionella training courses to a wide range of customers throughout the UK.
All our training courses can be delivered either at our Altrincham training centre, on-site at your own premises or at a location convenient to you. This cost effective approach to staff training helps to reduce costs and minimize disruption to your business, saving you and your staff valuable time away from your work environment.
Alchem Industries offer various customized boiler, cooling and closed system water treatment training courses specifically for engineers.
Each course has been developed by a team of highly experienced chemists and water treatment professionals. The content included in each course is designed to offer practical advice and support and cover a range of issues. These include water chemistry, water sampling and analysis procedures, boiler and cooling water system treatment and chemical dosing.
Under the requirements of the current ACOP(L-8) guidelines, those who are appointed to carry out the control measures and strategies should be suitably informed, instructed and trained to a standard which ensures tasks are carried out in a safe, technically competent manner.
Our Duty Holder and Responsible Person course explains in detail what you need to know as the Duty Holder or Responsible Person, how to be compliant with current legislation and what records should be kept and for how long. It covers the risk factors, legislation, compliance with legislation and your responsibilities.
Our Legionella awareness for Operators ensures maintenance staff are competent to undertake the tasks required and includes the background to Legionnares disease, a review of current ACOP(L-8) guidelines from a practical perspective and how to undertake the tasks detailed in the written scheme.
Introduction to Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and its control within healthcare premises
This course is aimed at all those involved in the day to day running and management of healthcare premises. It covers Pseudomonas contamination of water supplies and outlets. It also assesses the risk to patients and how to make an action plan if the system gets infected.
Consultancy Services and L8 compliance
Alchem Industries are able to offer a comprehensive and L8 compliance package.
- Water savings and process systems
- Alternative water supplies
- Water recycling
- Energy savings on steam boiler plant
- Costs savings by installation of water purification systems
- Water Safety Plans and Water Safety Groups
ACOP (L-8) compliance
- Preparation of written schemes for control of Legionella
- Independent auditing of L8 control on sites:
- Desk top reviews
- Inspections of plant
- Sampling and independent validation of results
Examples of training modules:
- Legionella training Duty Holder and Responsible Person
- Legionella training operational personnel
- Cooling water treatment
- Boiler water treatment
- Closed heating and chilled systems water treatment
- Chemical and microbiological analysis
- Water sources and potential pseudomonas aeruginosa contamination of taps and water systems
Base exchange water softeners are designed to remove scale-forming salts from incoming water to assist in the prevention of scale/deposits in boiler, cooling and closed systems. Our range of units can meet all types of industrial demands. We will provide a specialist service which includes the design, supply, installation, commissioning and servicing for all our applications.Reverse osmosis
The use of Reverse Osmosis to treat boiler make-up supplies can offer significant operational savings in both, water and energy costs, thus enhancing our client’s environmental compliance. In addition the use of the R.O. approach for key process waters can also offer major cost savings.
Alchem Industries can deliver a full package to include cost justification and return on investment projects, design, supply, installation, commissioning and on-going service packages.Chemical dosing and control packages
Continuous application and control of the recommended chemical treatment programme is critical in delivering optimum results in terms of plant protection, environmental compliance and efficient system operation.Therefore the correct dosing and control equipment must be utilised in order to achieve the above performance with the minimum of manual input. Alchem Industries can provide dosing and control system to meet all types of water systems..
We offer a full design service to achieve all-round dosing and control to meet sites full specification. Features such as remote monitoring, data logging and electronic logbooks can all be included into the Alchem Industries schemes.
No drums are left on site and site personnel do not have to handle our chemical products: Any environmental and health and safety issues regarding drum disposal and chemical leakage are therefore removed.
Chlorine dioxide treatments
The application of chlorine dioxide has become a recognised procedure for the residual treatment of domestic and potable water systems together with vegetable washing, brewery water and other similar industrial processes.Alchem Industries supply all plant, equipment and expertise needed by our clients, to manage and control their water treatment programmes automatically, without the constant attention of site personnel.Electronic Monitoring
Alchem Industries launched their electronic reporting system back in January of this year.
The system has now been rolled out to all Water Treatment customers with plans to rapidly
expand into the Water Hygiene and Environmental Services areas so that all documentation
will soon be available in electronic format.
Report processing is now virtually real time and uploaded securely via Bluetooth with a mobile phone.
Completed reports are e-mailed to clients using a bespoke format with copies being dropped into client folders on the Alchem website for retrieval if required.
The flexible formatting of the system means that data can be exported into spreadsheets to produce a suite of Management Reports.
Alchem’s electronic data capture allows hard copies of documents to be easily left on-site whilst real time uploads and processing offers the benefit of easy access to computer based filing systems and reports.
Alchem Industries personnel will work with clients to assess their reporting requirements whilst offering secure access to their reports quickly and efficiently.
Electronic reporting is quickly and easily set up so please talk to your Alchem representative today for more information or e-mail us for a free demonstration.
Alchem Industries provide an on line reporting facility which is accessed through the customer log-in button on the Alchem Industries website. The client is provided with a unique sign on profile which ensures that the information is secure.
The on line reporting system is a bespoke design which enables the information to be formatted and configured to meet the exact requirements of the client.Steam Raising Boilers