Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Non-Chemical Methods Prevent And Remove Limescale

The amount of damage caused by hard water is huge, but advice on how to prevent it is lacking from all the relevant agencies, according to Environmental Treatment Concepts (ETC). ETC claims that organisations do not seem to recognise that there is any problem with hard water or limescale. The 'Low Temperature Hot Water Boilers' document (CTV008) from the Carbon Trust, however, does state that 1mm of limescale causes a seven per cent increase in energy. Now that very effective non-chemical methods exist for preventing and removing limescale, this should be the preferred sustainable solution.

Of course, energy is only part of the equation. Scaling and chemical treatment methods both cause the premature failure of water-fed equipment, appliances and sanitaryware. Take direct-fired gas boilers, for example; these have a much shortened life in hard-water areas. Scale builds up on the bottom surface, above the hottest part, causing the casing to split and emptying the contents on the plant room floor. The boiler then has to be replaced. This involves mining raw materials somewhere in the world, processing them into components and assembling and transporting the replacement across the globe.

Now multiply this example with all the other items requiring premature replacement and it is clear that this has a massive impact on every aspect of sustainability, according to ETC. In an effort to influence the various agencies, ETC is an active member of three key organisations: British Water, the Environmental Industries Commission and the UK Green Building Council.

These forums are lobbying the government to achieve the recognition of the need to consider water treatment. Some success was achieved in getting a change made to Part L of the Building Regulations. ETC also offers approved continuous professional development to members of RIBA and CIBSE. This is getting the message across to those that can influence the adoption of a clean and green way to prevent the many problems caused by limescale.

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