Cooling Tower Overview

Last Updated: May 27, 2019

Types of cooling towers

There are two main types of cooling towers - Cross Flow and Counter Flow. In a crossflow tower, air travels horizontally across the direction of the falling water whereas in a counterflow tower air travels in the opposite direction (counter) to the direction of the falling water.

Cooling towers are unique in that they use the evaporation of water to remove heat and therefore cool a process. Click here for more information on how a cooling tower works.


There are generally 2 types of makeup water used for a cooling tower, City Water make up and Soft Water Make Up. Click here to see details of the advantages/disadvantages of each.

Water treatment

It is important to treat a cooling tower for scale and corrosion, depending on water conditions. Typically cooling tower treatment consists of a scale/corrosion inhibitor and biocides. There are many different options of inhibitors and biocides - click here to find out more information on how to choose the correct treatment option!

How do you know how well you are treating a cooling tower?

As previously stated, water treatment concerns in a cooling tower typically consist of a scale inhibitor, corrosion inhibitor, and biocides. Click here to learn more about monitoring scaling potential in a cooling tower and what the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI) is. Learn more about monitoring corrosion levels in a cooling tower. Click here to learn about biofilm and how to control microbiological growth in a cooling tower.

What is Legionnaires Disease and how can I monitor and prevent it?  

Legionnaires disease is a potentially fatal disease that can be contracted from poorly treated water systems.  Legionella can form in the cooling tower or other water systems. Click here to learn more about monitoring, prevention, and remediation to prevent a legionella outbreak in your water system.