How to Adjust Your Water Treatment Protocols for Summer Months

Summer brings warmth and increased activity, but it also poses challenges for maintaining water systems. The heat and higher usage can accelerate bacterial growth, making it crucial to adjust your water treatment protocols.

This blog provides practical advice on modifying chemical dosing, monitoring, and maintenance schedules to effectively manage bacterial growth in your water systems during the summer months.

Understanding the Summer Challenge

During summer, higher temperatures create a conducive environment for bacteria, including harmful pathogens like Legionella, to proliferate. Additionally, increased water usage in cooling towers, pools, and other systems can exacerbate the problem by providing more opportunities for bacterial growth. To ensure safe and efficient water systems, it’s essential to adjust your treatment protocols accordingly.

  1. Optimize Chemical Dosing

Increase Disinfectant Levels:

Higher Demand: Warmer temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of disinfectants. Therefore, it may be necessary to increase the dosage of chlorine, bromine, or other biocides.

Regular Adjustments: Frequently adjust and monitor disinfectant levels to maintain optimal concentrations, ensuring they are sufficient to control bacterial growth without causing harm to the system or the environment.

Use Supplemental Biocides:

Combination Treatments: Consider using a combination of oxidizing and non-oxidizing biocides. This dual approach can help manage a wider range of microorganisms and reduce the risk of resistance.

Shock Treatments: Periodically apply higher concentrations of biocides (shock treatments) to rapidly reduce microbial populations, especially during peak temperature periods.

  1. Enhance Monitoring Practices

Frequent Testing:

Regular Sampling: Increase the frequency of water sampling and microbial testing. Weekly tests for bacterial counts, such as Legionella, E. coli, and pseudomonas can help detect issues early.

Real-Time Monitoring: Invest in real-time monitoring systems that provide continuous data on water quality parameters such as temperature, pH, and disinfectant levels.

Data Analysis:

Trend Analysis: Regularly analyse monitoring data to identify trends and potential problems. Look for patterns that indicate rising bacterial levels or declining disinfectant effectiveness.

Responsive Adjustments: Use the data to make timely adjustments to your treatment protocols, ensuring that changes are based on accurate and current information.

  1. Revise Maintenance Schedules

Regular Cleaning:

Physical Cleaning: Increase the frequency of physical cleaning to remove debris, sludge, and biofilm. These materials can harbour bacteria and reduce the effectiveness of chemical treatments.

Descaling: Perform more frequent descaling procedures to prevent mineral buildup that can protect bacteria and hinder disinfectant penetration.

System Inspections:

Routine Inspections: Conduct more frequent inspections of all components of your water system, including cooling towers, storage tanks, and distribution pipes.

Preventive Maintenance: Address any issues identified during inspections promptly to prevent them from escalating into larger problems.

  1. Implement Preventive Measures

Temperature Control:

Temperature Management: Where possible, control the temperature of water systems to limit bacterial growth. For instance, cooling tower water temperatures should be kept below 20°C (68°F) or above 60°C (140°F) to prevent Legionella proliferation.

Shading and Insulation: Use shading and insulation to minimize temperature fluctuations in exposed parts of the water system.

Flow Management:

Avoid Stagnation: Ensure continuous water flow in all parts of the system to prevent stagnation, which can promote bacterial growth.

Water Turnover: Increase water turnover rates to reduce the residence time of water in the system, thus limiting the opportunities for bacterial multiplication.


Adjusting your water treatment protocols for the summer months is essential to manage bacterial growth effectively. By optimizing chemical dosing, enhancing monitoring practices, revising maintenance schedules, and implementing preventive measures, you can ensure the safety and efficiency of your water systems. Regular attention and proactive adjustments are key to maintaining water quality and preventing bacterial outbreaks during the warmer months.