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World Water Day – Green Building

World Water Day Solids
22 March 2021

On World Water Day, Dr. Simona Vasilescu, Marketing and Technology Director with Chem-Aqua at NCH Europe, provides an outlook on ways water treatment can help better manage valuable resources such as water and energy, while helping mitigate health and safety risks and reduce overall operational costs at the same time.

Dr. Simona Vasilescu has worked at NCH Europe for 18 years; the last three of these as Product and Marketing Manager on the Water Treatment Innovation Platform. She graduated from the University of Bucharest with a biochemistry degree and finalised her PhD in molecular biology and genetics at UMIST, Manchester. She began her career with NCH Europe in its dedicated water treatment division in Romania and has since worked in a variety of roles, including Strategic Accounts, Product Management and Marketing.

Simona envisions that the water treatment sector will use greener and safer products in the future and expects SMART monitoring devices to enable the customer to have a greater input into their water treatment programme. She also believes that water treatment companies should act as consultants for their customers, giving expert advice and helping them to achieve their goals.


"Effective, well monitored and managed water treatment is the ultimate green technology."


– Dr. Simona Vasilescu
Marketing and Technology Director, Chem-Aqua at NCH Europe


Fresh Water and Green Building


Every year, on the 22nd of March, we mark World Water Day. The theme this year is valuing water. Water has an enormous value for our health, society and the integrity of our environment, well beyond its price.

Water accounts for 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface, totalling around 326 million trillion gallons. Only 3 per cent of this is freshwater. Of that 3 per cent, five sixths is locked into glaciers, soil and clouds or otherwise unavailable for use. The WHO estimates that by 2025, half the world will be living in areas where the water supply is stressed.

The built environment in the UK is a major consumer of water resources; potential water scarcity issues are looming in several parts of the country, particularly in highly populated areas. Buildings generate almost 40 per cent of the UK’s total carbon footprint; in cities like London these percentages rocket to over 70 per cent. Sustainability management is something all businesses have a stake in and a responsibility to consider as part of their operations.

Green building is the practice of increasing how efficiently buildings use water, energy and other resources, while reducing their impact on human health and the environment. Property and facility managers who understand the benefits of green building are looking for new ideas and technologies to meet these important objectives.


Water Treatment, Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Gas Emissions


When it comes to buildings with cooling towers, chillers, boilers or recirculating loops, water treatment is generally recognised as a key component to ensure safe operation of water systems and help insure compliance and risk reduction. However, it is often overlooked as a key metric in the green building equation.

In a typical building, energy and water costs associated with heating and cooling represent two thirds of total utility bills. Effective water treatment programs protect waterside surfaces from the ravages of corrosion, deposits and microbiological growth. They extend the life of capital assets, keep heat exchange surfaces clean and energy efficient, maximising how effectively water is used.

Maintaining heat transfer surfaces clean also reduces the discharge of greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants associated with global warming.

For example, left unaddressed, a mere 0.13 mm of slime in a 2,000 kW chiller can increase operational costs by over £10,000 per year while discharging more than 50,000 kg of CO2. This equates to the annual CO2 emissions of 10 cars!

An effective water treatment program helps keep heating and cooling systems operating at maximum efficiency by reducing energy usage, saving money, but also conserving precious water resources. Effective, well monitored and managed water treatment is the ultimate green technology.


New Solid Technology Supports Green Building


Traditionally, water treatment products are liquid blends of several actives, with the final formulation containing up to 85 per cent water. Although still considered standard practice in the industry, liquid water treatment products aren’t always the optimal way for a facility to treat water.

The transport and delivery of large liquid chemical drums can be particularly challenging to the environment, especially in large cities, industrial complexes and highly populated areas.  The weight and bulk of liquids also increases workplace injuries and chemical spill incidents, while fossil fuel and water resources required to manufacture and transport so many drums negatively impact the environment and a facility’s sustainability.

Once drums and their contents have been used, disposal becomes the next sustainability challenge. Empty containers require proper handling and thorough cleaning to have a chance at being recycled. If not recycled, they become part of the landfill and incinerator waste process. All these activities release harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, creating a substantial carbon footprint.

What if you could remove the water from the product packaging, shipping and handling equation by using solid concentrates instead?

Solid water treatment concentrates provide significant benefits both in terms of handling and protecting the environment. They employ new technologies and require specialised expertise to manufacture and apply. Removing the water reduces the product weight by up to 80 per cent creating a lighter, easier to handle product.

An average liquid water treatment drum is 120 litres and usually weighs over 150 kg. The solid alternative weighs just 20 kg and is a fraction of the size. Smaller solid products, with a smaller footprint, are much easier to manipulate compared to liquid filled drums. Their carbon footprint is also smaller as they require less fossil fuel during manufacture and transport.

For example, transitioning a 2,000 kW chiller from liquid treatment to Chem-Aqua’s HandiChem Solid Treatment technology will reduce the CO2 emissions by at least 705 kg/year. This corresponds to a van travelling 3,500 km or 78 trees!

At the end of their use, smaller packages and containers are easier to sort and clean, adding to the success of a facility’s sustainability and recycling program.

Green Buildings are not a one-off gesture to the environment, they’re an ongoing commitment. Using Solid water treatment allows facility managers to improve the safety of their facility systems and processes, while reducing the impact their facility has on the wider world.



On 7 April,  Chem-Aqua division of NCH are holding a webinar focusing on ways water treatment can help facilities meet their objectives and overcome most recent challenges. Resourcefully Green initiative is our commitment to provide environmentally sound water treatment solutions that minimise water usage and energy waste, while protecting the health and welfare of facilities and the people within them.

NCH believes in success through science. They employ over 40 chemists and microbiologists to create highly effective products, while minimising hazardous ingredients use and environmental impact.

Picture: An example of a greener, safer, more compact water treatment solution.

Article written by Dr. Simona Vasilescu | Published 22 March 2021


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