commercial and industrial water softeners for businesses

ion exchange resin industrial and commercial water softener

Commercial and Industrial Water Softeners : ion exchange and membrane (NF) technology


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Water softening is the process of reducing the dissolved calcium, magnesium and to some extent, manganese and iron ions present in hard water. Commercial and industrial water softeners are necessary because these “dissolved hardness ions” are responsible for undesired cement-like deposits in pipes and heat exchangers and also for stains in rinsed surfaces and reduced detergent efficiency.

1. hard water and Water Softeners in commercial an industrial environments

Hardness in water is due to the presence of certain dissolved metallic ions.  In general, the most common of these hardness-causing ions are calcium and magnesium.
Calcium and Magnesium carbonates tend to precipitate out as hard deposits on the surfaces of pipes and heat exchanging surfaces.  As a result, the resulting build-up of cement-like scale tends to restrict the water flow inside the pipes.
In boilers, for example, the deposits act as an insulation that impairs the flow of heat into water, reducing the heating efficiency and allowing the metal boiler components to overheat.
In addition, cooling towers suffer fouling caused by Calcium Carbonate precipitation and Iron and Manganese oxidation. These precipitates are responsible for a decrease in airflow through the tower and if not corrected, can seriously reduce the tower’s performance.
In general, most commercial and industrial plants such as boilers, cooling towers, car washes, laundries etc need soft water. As a result, resin and membrane softening systems are common in the treatment of surface and well water supplies for these industries.
Save Energy with Commercial and Industrial Water Softeners

2. measuring hardness in water and water hardness levels:

Hardness in water is the sum of the concentrations of Calcium and Magnesium. Other ions produce hardness too: Iron, Manganese, Strontium, Barium, Zinc, and Aluminum, however these ions are generally not present in significant quantities and are not included when measuring water hardness.

Hardness is generally expressed in units of milligrams per liter (mg/L) as Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3). An expression also used to define hardness in the context of ion-exchange softening is grains per gallon (1 grain per gallon of hardness is equal to 17.1 mg/L as CaCO3).

  • Total hardness (mg/L as CaCO3) = Calcium hardness (mg/L as CaCO3) + Magnesium hardness (mg/L as CaCO3)
  • Calcium hardness (mg/L as CaCO3)  =  Calcium (mg/L) * Equivalent Weight of CaCO3 / Equivalent Weight of Ca = Calcium (mg/L) * 2.5
  • Magnesium hardness (mg/L as CaCO3)  =  Magnesium (mg/L) * Equivalent Weight of CaCO3 / Equivalent Weight of Mg = Magnesium (mg/L) * 4
Hardness Levelmg/L as CaCO3
Very Hard>300

3. Typical Commercial and Industrial applications for Water Softeners :

Industries that use industrial and commercial water softeners

4. common problems associated with hard water:

  • The built-up scale narrows the pipe cross-section and as a consequence, the supply flow is reduced
  • Higher risk of corrosion in metal pipes
  • Lower water flow in pumps due to higher pressure loss across the water circuit
  • Reduction in efficiency of all heat exchange systems due to the insulating effect of the cement-like deposits.
  • Overheating inside the surfaces of the heat source in boilers, thereby causing premature failure and excessive energy and maintenance costs.
  • Reduced performance of soaps and detergents which have to be used in greater quantities to achieve the necessary cleaning performance.
Benefits of commercial and industrial water softeners

5. two main water softening TECHNOLOGIES for industrial and commercial applications:

Watercore design and manufacture commercial and industrial water softeners using two different technologies:
  • Resin or ion exchange water softening.
  • Membrane (nanofiltration) water softeners 

5.1 Resin or ion-exchange water softening:

Resin or ion exchange water softening systems exchange Calcium and Magnesium ions for Sodium. Basically the incoming water passes through a resin vessel and the resin ‘traps’ the Calcium ions, or limescale, from the solution and exchanges them for ions of sodium. As Sodium has a higher solubility than Calcium or Magnesium in water, this exercise translates into less scaling.

5.2 membrane / NANOFILTRATION water softening:

In contrast to the ion exchange water softeners, membrane water softeners use low-pressure Nanofiltration membranes to remove bivalent ions from water. As a rule of thumbs these type of commercial and industrial water softening membranes reject 99.8% of sulfate, Calcium or Magnesium while passing a bog proportion of other ions, particularly monovalent ions such as Chloride and Sodium, allowing for ultra-low-pressure operations. 

6. benefits of using commercial and industrial water softener:

7. getting it right: selecting the right commercial and industrial water softener.

At Watercore, we are experts at ensuring that you choose the right water softening solution for your application. Above all, our range of commercial and industrial water softeners will provide the solution to all your water hardness problems.
Similar to to other water treatment systems, the sizing of a water softener will depend on a number of factors including hardness of the water, volumes of water used, flow rate required and type of application. However our technical sales team are available to help you with all aspects of design, from the sizing of the unit to the best and most practical location.
To summarise, Watercore engineers design and manufactures a wide range of commercial and industrial water softeners in Australia. As an example, hardness in water is considered a common denominator in the majority of Australian water problems, however water softeners are available to remove bivalent ions that are responsible for such hardness. 

8. learn more about the different water softening methods

Hardness in water is the addition of the concentrations of multivalent ions, principally Calcium and Magnesium.  Certainly other iones such as Iron, Manganese, Zinc, and Aluminum are also responsible for the total water hardness however, the concentration of these ions is generally insignificant compared to Calcium and Magnesium and are not considered in standard measurements of water hardness.

Two of the most important benefits of the water softening are:

  • Reduction of scale-forming tendencies by Calcium and Magnesium carbonates.
  • Reduced consumption of cleaning detergents

Nanofiltration(NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are used to separate dissolved solutes from water. In particular, Nanofiltration membranes are typically used to remove organics or hardness and are often referred to as softening membranes.

One of the main advantages of NF versus typical ion exchange softening is that Calcium and Magnesium are not replaced by Sodium but just removed by the membranes. This way boiler cycles in steam production are increased and traditional regeneration-salt storage is not needed any more.

Ion exchange resins are used for softening hard water where   calcium (Ca2+) and magnesium (Mg2+) are efficiently exchanged for sodium.

Ion exchange water softening have the following benefits:

  • It effectively removes hardness  while maintaining a stable pH.
  • It is a proven effective technology with many years of operating experience.
  • Requires little operator attention

More Options

You might also be interested in these solutions







Here to help with our commercial and industrial water treatment solutions

Please fill up the following form and we will get back within the next 48 hours.