An innovative monitoring approach has seen lasting success at a cooling tower project in Melbourne, revealing how automation and sourcing the right technology can make a winning combination for water monitoring.

Established in 1996, Hydro Flow is an Australian-owned company that provides technical and project services, manufactures and supplies treatment chemicals, and installs and maintains dosing and filtration equipment.

Principally staffed by a team of engineers and scientists dedicated to providing world-class water treatment programs and solutions to all market sectors, Hydro Flow offers a principle service of managing cooling towers, including water treatment and corrosion monitoring.

Accepting the challenge: automated monitoring

To minimise time on-site and lower maintenance and calibration costs at cooling tower projects, Hydro Flow recently decided to leverage its more than 20-year relationship with Bürkert and investigate the idea of automated water quality monitoring, while upgrading current chlorine and pH measurement technology.

Bürkert offered its Type 8905 online water quality monitoring system, combined with a Type MZ20 automatic cleaning system.

“This was an agreement between Hydro Flow and Bürkert for the benefit of both parties,” said John Kennedy, National Water Field Segment Manager for Bürkert.

“Bürkert offered Hydro Flow their latest in water quality management technology for their cooling tower application, to see how the benefits could be established in industrial water industries.

“For Hydro Flow, if the trial of the water quality monitoring system was a success, then they could also benefit from the advantages of using this technology, particularly with their other clients with larger infrastructure, such as museums, galleries, hospitals, stadiums and inner-city spaces.”

Why monitoring of cooling towers matters

Hydro Flow have been monitoring cooling tower dosage with a number of monitoring methods, measuring dosing levels and making adjustments as required, and understand that reliable monitoring of cooling towers is necessary to eliminate the risk of bacterial growth in cooling tower water, particularly Legionella bacteria.

Legionella bacteria occur naturally within soil and water in the environment, and can enter a cooling tower system through water dispersion, where it can rapidly reproduce in the warm and moist environment it provides, particularly in the presence of nutrients and sunlight.

It can then escape the system within aerosols and travel significant distances to potentially enter a person’s respiratory system.

In Australia, legislation regarding microbiological testing for cooling towers varies between state and territory jurisdictions, water samples must be taken to test for Legionella as well as Heterotrophic Colony Count, at least monthly or quarterly, pending regulation, and the water must be tested by a NATA-accredited laboratory.

All parameters analysed by a single unit

Typically used for drinking water quality applications, Bürkert’s Type 8905 modular system is for monitoring all important water parameters through one platform, including pH, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, conductivity, ORP, turbidity, iron and temperature.

Hydro Flow decided to use the system at a site in the Melbourne CBD.

The Type MZ20 automatic cleaning system was also installed, automatically cleaning the fluidic channels and the sensor surfaces in the connected sensor cubes – eliminating another element of maintenance.

The combined system also offers traditional analogue outputs and fieldbus connectivity, with remote access, allowing the system to be monitored remotely.

Solution proven in service

After more than two years, the combined system provided by Hydro Flow and Bürkert is still working and providing a low-maintenance solution within the Melbourne CBD cooling tower.

Mathew French, Area Manager of Projects, Hydro Flow, summed up the solution, saying, “During the pandemic in 2020 there were limitations to site access during lockdown, however we had confidence in Bürkert’s solution to continue the accurate water quality monitoring for the test site.”

This is a sponsored editorial brought to you by Bürkert, for more information about how Bürkert’s monitoring technology can assist your business, head to


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