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Water standards and informatin about chemicals to clean heat exchangers
Question submitted on 5/19/06

I am a metallurgist. My client wants me to recommend a new material for heat exchanger tubing used at a waste water plant because of corrosion problems. He has given me tables of water data. I don't know how to interpret them. I need to find out what the "worst" stuff is. Please provide me with water information. Parameters he has given me are: Alkalinity, Ammonia, Fecal Coli.,CBOD5, KN, soluble, Nitrate-N, Total suspension, Volatile suspension, Sulfate.. and more (usually g/ml). He also wants me to recommend any testing he might need to do for other water parameters. I don't think typical things like Fe, Ca, are an issue.


You should be able to find the answers to your questions in Water Treatment: Principles and Design (New York : Wiley, 2005). The ISBN is 0-471-11018-3. You can view the table of contents at It has fairly detailed information on contaminants normally encountered in wastewater treatment plants and should have enough information to help you decipher the data your client gave you and make some recommendations.

You may also find the following web sources helpful:

U.S. EPA Drinking Water Standards

Interpreting Drinking Water Analysis: What Do the Numbers Mean?

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