Cooling Water

Ask the Experts - What Is Process Water?

By William Harfst


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Editor’s note: Ask the Experts is a regular feature with answers to water treatment questions. One aim of the column is to provide background knowledge for those learning about the water industry. Our expert for this column is William Harfst of Harfst & Associates. We encourage our readers to send questions on topics pertinent to industrial facility water treatment. Interested in joining our team of experts? Please contact Mike Henley to discuss your potential involvement.

Mike Henley: Some of our readers are interested in learning more about process water. How do you define “process water”?

William Harfst: "I like to think in terms of four broad classes of water: utility, process, domestic, and waste. These classifications refer to how water is used in a given application. It does not refer, however, to water quality or the source of the water. In this sense, process water refers to water that is used in a manufacturing application. The water quality can be of high purity or low quality, depending on the requirements of the application. Utility applications refer to water that is used to produce steam (or hot water) and cooling water. Power plants and heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) applications are common examples. Domestic water applications generally include water that is intended for human consumption/use such as drinking, bathing, and laundry...

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