Cooling Tower Registration

All existing cooling towers must be registered with San Antonio Water System. New cooling towers should be registered with SAWS prior to the start of operation.

A cooling tower is an open water recirculation device that uses fans or natural draft to draw or force air into contact and cool water through an evaporative process.

In large office buildings, up to half the water used could be for cooling tower use in this evaporative process. The most energy efficient systems utilize cooling towers for air conditioning. Because cooling towers use vast amounts of water, they must be managed accurately for efficient operation.

Cooling Tower Operation Reminder

  • Cooling towers, not utilizing recycled water, shall operate a minimum of four (4) cycles of concentration.
  • Newly constructed cooling towers shall be operated with conductivity controllers, as well as make-up and blowdown meters.

Cooling Tower Audit Program

Is the performance of your water treatment program up to industry standards?

Would you like to save money on your water bill and chemical treatment costs, as well as improve the performance of your cooling tower? SAWS is offering a free audit to help you answer these questions and identify methods for improvement.

Sign up for your FREE audit today!


What is a cooling tower audit?

The cooling tower audit is a brief, but intensive on-site evaluation of your cooling tower and cooling water system. A team of recognized experts will evaluate the general condition of your cooling tower, cooling water system and water treatment program.

What is the purpose of the audit?

The audit evaluates the cooling water system, but not energy management. The purpose of the audit is to help you and SAWS conserve water. Experience has shown that, in many cases, good cooling performance can be achieved while more efficiently operating the cooling tower system. The audit identifies more efficient ways to use water for cooling.

What happens during an audit?

The audit team will inspect your cooling water system, sample and test make-up and blow-down water, and measure the flow of both the circulating water and the make-up water. They’ll also review records such as routine chemical analysis and service reports from your water treatment provider. In addition to reviewing your current water treatment program, they’ll give you feedback about the overall performance of your cooling system.

How much will the audit cost?

All costs associated with the audit are funded by SAWS as part of its ongoing water conservation program.

How will I learn about the results of the audit?

The audit team will schedule a follow-up meeting with you. During that meeting, the results of your audit and any recommendations will be summarized in a written report and discussed with you. You will be given a copy of the report either during the follow-up meeting or prior to it.

How should I prepare for an audit?

Being prepared for the audit is very important and can help make the audit process go smoothly and quickly. The following should be accomplished prior to the audit team’s visit:

  1. Schedule a date and time for the audit.
  2. Collect six to 12 months worth of log sheets for the cooling tower.
  3. Collect service reports from your water treatment provider for the last six to 12 months.
  4. Collect the product data sheets and material safety data sheets for all products used in the cooling tower.
  5. Collect basic engineering data on your cooling system. This data should include circulation flow rate, design hot water temperature, design cold water temperature and your best estimate of the heat load on the cooling system.
  6. Have someone available to accompany the audit team.
  7. Prepare any questions you might have regarding cooling towers, cooling water systems or cooling water treatment. The members of the audit team are experts in this field and welcome your questions.

How can my organization benefit from an audit?

Your organization can benefit in many ways. If your system is performing optimally, then you have the satisfaction of being told this by recognized experts. However, if improvements are possible, recommendations for such improvements will be explained to you. In almost all cases, cost savings are possible through reductions in water usage, sewer charges, corrosion, fouling and chemical costs. In addition, you may also qualify for participation in SAWS Commercial Custom Rebate, where you can recoup up to 100 percent of the cost of implementing the recommended changes. In all cases, you will be participating in an important effort to help San Antonio conserve its most precious natural resource — water.