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Water for industry
'5 YnUR PROBLEM
Printed by the Florida Geological Survey
WATER FOR THIRSTY INDUSTRY
IT'S YOUR PROBLEM
Our daily newspapers are continually
reporting water problems too much, too little,
poor quality, salt-water encroachment, and falling
ground-water levels. Is the water supply becoming
smaller? Hydrologists tell us that there is no
long-term decline in our water supply. Then why
are water problems occurring more frequently?
The answer is that we are using more water than
ever before, and industry is the largest single user.
WATER PROBLEMS ARE
COSTLY TO INDUSTRY
Today, industry needs water in fantastic
quantities; and the demands are skyrocketing.
Industry in Florida uses 1,200 gallons per person
per day. Therefore, water problems such as
shortages, floods, and inferior quality can be
costly to industry and a community. Everyone
profits if these problems are solved before heavy
investments are made for plant sites or construction.
HOW CAN WE SOLVE THE
The solution of an industrial water problem
may be divided into four steps:
1. Learn the water needs of the industry.
2. Inventory and evaluate the quantity and
quality of water available.
3. Relate the supply to the needs.
4. Prepare plans for developing the water
supply and act on them.
The first two steps and the fourth are the
responsibility of everyone; the local business men;
local, county, and state leaders; and citizens of
the community. The third step is for the expert,
the industrialist, and his consultants.
After the needs of industry are known, action
must be taken to satisfy the needs. Such action
may call for the design and construction of dams,
pipelines, and water treatment plants, or the drilling
of wells. If the supply cannot be taken to the need,
then the need must be taken to the supply. Water
development structures and industrial plans cannot
be designed on general information such as "plenty
of good, pure water." Information such as records
19so 1098 1If Mf-
of temperature and flow, yield of wells, and chemi-
cal analyses are necessary. Years may be required
to collect sufficient information. Unfortunately,
when the data are needed it is too late to start
HOW INDUSTRY USES WATER
Industry uses water for cooling, process, and
sanitation and services. Generally the quality of
cooling water is unchanged during a single use.
The outgoing water is a few degrees warmer than
the incoming water, but otherwise it is unchanged.
The electric power industry uses water to cool
steam from turbines. The cooled steam condenses,
Scs WATERoii INDUSTRY
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reducing the back pressure on the turbines and
increasing the plant efficiency. After water has
been used for cooling, it contains heat which must
be dissipated before it can be used again. The
water may be cooled in a cooling tower or a pond,
where some of it evaporates.
Reuse of the water has an adverse effect
on quality. All natural waters contain dissolved
minerals. As the circulated water loses volume
by evaporation, these dissolved minerals become
concentrated in the unevaporated water. When
this concentration reaches the maximum limit for
the process, the water must be discarded.
Saline water may be used for cooling. How-
ever, the machinery involved must be designed to
resist corrosion; and, because corrosion-resistant
machinery is more expensive than ordinary machin-
ery, saline water is used only when fresh water is
not available at a reasonable cost.
The temperature of incoming cooling water is
important. Generally, the cooler the incoming
water, the less water required. A cooling water of
uniform temperature is also desirable.
Process water is either incorporated in the
product, as in soft drinks or canned fruits and
vegetables, or it comes in direct contact with the
product. The pulp and paper industry uses process
water for washing pulpwood, cooling wood chips,
and transporting the pulp to paper machines.
Sanitation and service water is used to
clean and maintain the plant. Showers for the
workers, lawn watering,
and fire fighting are
typical examples. Drink-
ing is a minor but
important use of sani-
tation and service water.
Sanitation and service -
is the prime use of
water in some industries
and usually the water
demands of these indus-, )
tries are not great.
Some industries ':'
use more water than \
others; for example,
nationwide, the electric I
power industry uses ,
almost 10 times as much
as the chemical industry,
the next largest user. The amount of water used
depends on the size of the industry' and how the
water is used.
Even within an industry the amount of water
used to complete a product ranges widely. The
reasons for this wide range are many and complex.
A product manufactured by one process may require
more water of a different quality than the same
product manufactured by another process. Further,
different plants using the same process may use
different amounts of water depending on plant
design, water quality, and water availability.
Large quantities of water do not constitute an
adequate water supply if the quality is poor. Every-
one is familiar with ugly stains caused by iron in
water and with the annoying and wasteful curds that
form when soap is used in hard water. These
properties of water are unwelcome in the factory
as well as in the home. Iron will stain many
products of industry, and hardness is undesirable
for all processes that require washing.
Calcium and magnesium compounds are
undesirable in process water, especially if the
water is used hot, because a scale will be deposited
in the machinery just as a scale formed in the
old-fashioned tea kettle.
Alkalinity is detrimental in many industrial
processes, particularly in products of carbonated
.and acid fruit beverages such as citrus fruit juice,
because it neutralizes the natural taste producing
substances. Thus, specifications for industrial
water are varied and they differ from product to
product and from process to process.
ARE NEEDED A
The plant-site locator has a list of water
specifications that must be met. He must base his
decision on facts. If facts are not available for a
site, he will move to another site where they are
available. Most water problems can be solved if
the facts on availability and quality are known.
If water is a prime requirement, the industrialist
will want to know the answers to many questions
including some or all of the following.
1. What are the possible sources of water wells,
streams, lakes, or ponds?
2. What is the flow of the stream and how does it
vary from day to day and season to season?
3. If the source of water is a lake, how much water
does it contain and how deep is it?
4. What is the range in lake level and what are the
extremes? Will it flood out my plant, or leave
my intake high and dry?
5. What are the water-bearing formations and how
deep to the saturated zone?
6. How much pressure will I have to pump against
and how will it vary?
7. How much water can I expect to obtain from a
8. If one well will not meet my needs, how many
wells must I have? How should the wells be
spaced to obtain the optimum yield?
9. If I withdraw all the water I need, would I even-
tually deplete the water supply or lower the
water level in the well below the economic
10. If I draw all the water I need, will I encroach
on my neighbors' rights?
11. What is the water temperature and how does it
vary from day to day? How does it vary with
12. Is the water colored? If so, what is the in-
13. What dissolved minerals does it contain and
how much? What is the range in concentration
of the dissolved minerals?
14. If it is a coastal stream, will the saline water
reach my plant site? If so, how often and how
much? Will the salinity be different at the
surface and at the bottom? If so, how much
15. If I pump all the water I need, will I cause
the well to salt up? If so, how soon? How
much water can I pump without salting up the
well? How can salting be prevented?
16. If the well taps more than one water-bearing
formation, could I improve the water quality
by sealing off one or more aquifers?
17. Will the temperature of the water change as
I use the water? If so, how much?
18. If I store water, what effect will storage have
on water temperature and water quality?
19. Is the source of water (aquifer, stream, or lake)
20. What are the legal aspects of using water?
Who owns the water? Do I need a permit or
TEXT PREPARED BY:
Kenneth A. Mac Kichan, District engineer,
Quality of Water Branch, U. S. Geological Survey,
Robert T. Kirkland, Jr., physical science technician,
Quality of Water Branch, U. S. Geological Survey,
FLRD GEOLOSk ( IC SUfRiW
[year of publication as printed] Florida Geological Survey [source text]
The Florida Geological Survey holds all rights to the source text of
this electronic resource on behalf of the State of Florida. The
Florida Geological Survey shall be considered the copyright holder
for the text of this publication.
Under the Statutes of the State of Florida (FS 257.05; 257.105, and
377.075), the Florida Geologic Survey (Tallahassee, FL), publisher of
the Florida Geologic Survey, as a division of state government,
makes its documents public (i.e., published) and extends to the
state's official agencies and libraries, including the University of
Florida's Smathers Libraries, rights of reproduction.
The Florida Geological Survey has made its publications available to
the University of Florida, on behalf of the State University System of
Florida, for the purpose of digitization and Internet distribution.
The Florida Geological Survey reserves all rights to its publications.
All uses, excluding those made under "fair use" provisions of U.S.
copyright legislation (U.S. Code, Title 17, Section 107), are
restricted. Contact the Florida Geological Survey for additional
information and permissions.
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