For Bridgnorth Aluminium, protecting against Legionella contamination and managing the water quality of its cooling tower system is essential to its operations. As part of a long-term partnership, Veolia Water Technologies UK (VWT UK) has assisted with water treatment and compliance services at the specialist’s production site in Shropshire.
Bridgnorth Aluminium has almost 90 years’ experience in aluminium and currently produces more than 100,000 tonnes of the material per year. It is also one of the few producers in the world of the high-quality aluminium used for the lithographic plates of newspaper and magazine printing machines.
For almost a decade, Veolia Water Technologies has worked closely with Bridgnorth Aluminium to provide servicing, chemical supply and Legionella compliance for its cooling towers and process water treatment systems. VWT UK was originally awarded the contract following a competitive tender. Bridgnorth Aluminium was impressed by the level of reporting VWT UK could offer as well as a package of measures to optimise the control and management of its cooling tower systems.
If not managed correctly, cooling towers can pose a particular Legionella risk. If the cooling water is contaminated, it is possible for Legionella to be dispersed over a wide area in the water vapour and potentially expose people on-site or in neighbouring areas. Therefore, ensuring effective protection against Legionella is a priority for Bridgnorth Aluminium. Highly effective control of the chemical dosing is required to maintain the correct biocide reserves as well as protect the water systems from scaling and corrosion.
Bridgnorth Aluminium benefits from VWT’s extensive water treatment expertise and knowledge. VWT UK provided a package that was designed to help Bridgnorth Aluminium ensure they were covering all aspects of their Legionella compliance. Internet-enabled controllers are a key tool VWT UK recommend for improving control of cooling towers systems both for Legionella compliance and also monitoring improved efficiency. These controllers allow real-time remote monitoring, data logging and analysis by both VWT UK engineers and the on-site team from any connected device.
A representative of Bridgnorth Aluminium commented: “The length of the partnership between our business and VWT demonstrates the success we have had and the level of service we receive. The remote monitoring capabilities have proven to be extremely valuable, specifically in one instance when we experienced an issue with the plant and biocide levels in the water dropped below the specified level.”
On this occasion, the connected controller sent an alert to the VWT UK team and site personnel. Upon receiving the notification, the VWT Service Support Manager for Bridgnorth Aluminium used the remote access capability to view the system status. As it required further investigation on-site, the plant operators were contacted and supported in making additional checks. The source of the issue was identified as an oil leak and the team was able to recommend corrective action to elevate the dosing and bring the system under control. A VWT UK engineer visited the site the next day. Additional measures were put in place to allow the site to continue operating safely until the necessary maintenance work could be completed.
This swift response meant that there was no need to halt production, avoiding lost revenues and costs of up to £250,000 per day. Quickly returning the biocide concentration to the correct level also prevented any bacteria in the system from multiplying and spreading.
The Legionella management package that VWT provides also includes maintaining full and detailed records for compliance purposes. For example, when any Legionella case is reported in the area, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will check with local businesses to ensure they are complying. With VWT’s system, the relevant records and documentation can be provided quickly and easily to prove compliance with the regulations.
VWT’s Service Support Manager said: “Without the automatic alerts and remote monitoring capabilities, we wouldn’t have been able to take immediate action to assist the Bridgnorth Aluminium team.
“Our monitoring technology, data trending and document storage provide our customers with peace of mind that their systems are fully compliant and that all the data is available in the event that it is needed. They can be assured that all their systems are being protected from microbiological proliferation, corrosion and scaling.”