EC, or electrical conductivity reduction is an ever more pressing need of industrial dischargers. Many times, plants who have not had an issue in the past with EC, now face EC permit violations, or at the very least, EC compliance issues. Water enters a plant either from a well or a city water source with a certain level of EC. This entering level of EC is known as background EC and is made up by all the dissolved ions in solution. These dissolved ions include scaling species such as Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Manganese, Carbonate, Silica, Barium, Strontium, Aluminum and other non- scaling species such as Sodium, Chloride, Potassium, Boron and others.

Past water treatment practices have been effective in addressing scaling. However, each of these issues tend to raise Electrical Conductivity (EC) in differing ways.

Softening removes hardness ( Calcium and Magnesium ) issues but has a negative impact on EC as the softening practice trades sodium for hardness and uses it in the process thus raising EC. In addition, softeners in a boiler feed water application do nothing to reduce alkalinity which in the boiler, breaks down to CO2 which leaves the boiler, and in condensate lines becomes carbonic acid. Carbonic acid attacks the steam and condensate system if left unchecked. Typical treatments include neutralizing amines which add cost and add EC. Finally Softeners do nothing to address Silica in the boiler feed water which can be a cycles limiting factor causing the boiler to run at less than maximum efficiency, leading to wasted fuel, increased emissions, wasted water, and increased chemical consumption.

Addition of acid to cooling systems is another example of an attempt to control scaling that adds to EC. Addition of Sulfuric acid reduces scaling potential by shifting carbonate and bicarbonate alkalinity to CO2 gas which is then scrubbed from the cooling tower or condenser water. While the carbonate scaling issue is reduced, issues involving Silica and other ions go unaddressed, while other issues like safety and EC are negatively impacted.

Using today’s technologies, which may include the ( patent pending ) S-WARP process, Sustainable Water Systems LLC can provide a wide range of solutions that allow a plant to reduce EC, meet plant EC discharge compliance requirements, and reduce the impact the plant has on background Electrical Conductivity. In the majority of the cases where Sustainable Water Solutions looks at the entire plant water footprint it is possible to reduce plant EC, reduce plant water usage, reduce plant fuel bills, reduce plant stack emissions, and reduce plant water treatment chemical usage.

Contact SWS,LLC for more information on how you can lower your plant discharge EC.