Data Center Water Treatment

Data Center Water Treatment

Since 1999, we’ve provided green treatment solutions and blacker bottom lines.


Water is vital for data center water treatment cooling.

Water is an incredibly effective and cost-efficient medium for cooling data centers. One key reason is that water has a much higher specific heat capacity than air. This means it can absorb much more heat without a significant increase in temperature. To put this in perspective, consider the amount of water and air needed to cool a typical 8kW server rack. While 3200 m3/hour of air would be required, only 2 m3/hour of water would be needed. This demonstrates just how much more efficient water is at transferring heat.

The importance of water treatment in data centers cannot be overstated. Because water is such an effective medium for cooling, it is often used in data center cooling systems. However, if the water is not properly treated, it can become contaminated and cause problems in the cooling system. Contaminants such as minerals, bacteria, and algae can build up in the water and cause corrosion, clogging, and other issues. To prevent these problems, it is essential to implement a comprehensive water treatment program that ensures the water used in the cooling system is clean and free of contaminants. This can help maintain the cooling system’s efficiency and reliability, which is critical for the smooth operation of the data center.

See the challenges one Ashburn, Virginia hyperscaler faced and how Chemstar WATER resolved it in our data center water treatment case study.

Data Center Water Treatment Cooling Still

Critical for water-stressed regions

As the demand for water continues to increase for various essential uses, including data center cooling systems, water scarcity is becoming more of a problem in many regions worldwide. This is partly due to the growing number of water-stressed areas and the increasing focus on water-conscious practices. Water shortages are especially common in areas like the Southwest, where the draining of aquifers and declining surface water volume have contributed to the problem.

To address these issues, data centers and other plants must practice proper water management and reuse. One way to do this is by implementing well-established water treatment practices. These practices can help ensure that water is used efficiently and effectively and has minimal impact on the environment and local communities.

Although calculating a data center’s “water footprint” can be complex, it is relatively simple to control and reduce water usage. By implementing best practices for water management and reuse, data centers can continue to utilize water as a cost-effective cooling medium while minimizing their environmental impact.

Why do you Need Optimum “Cycles of Concentration” in your Cooling Systems?

Datacenter cooling systems rely on the evaporation of water to reject heat. When water is evaporated, it leaves behind unevaporated water, known as “blowdown,” which is high in minerals and has a high conductivity. This blowdown is typically flushed away and replaced with fresh water or water “make-up.”

It is important to manage the cycles of concentration in both direct and indirect evaporative cooling systems, as this can help to optimize the system and make it more cost-effective. The cycles of concentration refer to the concentration of solid impurities in the recirculating water. Maintaining high cycles can help save water, but it may also lead to scale build-up that can reduce cooling efficiency and increase the “power usage effectiveness” (PUE). On the other hand, low cycles may result in the premature discharge of blowdown, requiring more make-up water to compensate.

To avoid these problems, it is critical to manage the concentration cycles with the right treatment level carefully. Water treatment programs can help to ensure that the cycles are maintained at an optimal level, helping to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the cooling system.

Optimize Your Cooling System with Equipment

Each cooling system sump operates independently. Some data center campuses have hundreds of sumps and can consume one hundred to two hundred times as much water as a standard office building (according to PG&E’s Data Center Best Practice Guide). From the data center water treatment perspective, monitoring and controlling each is the best approach to achieving the optimum cycles of concentration. The cost of monitoring and control is negligible compared to the water and energy savings. Datacenter operators can reduce their water use significantly with strict monitoring and control by themselves or with the help of companies like Chemstar WATER.

One way to prevent water scaling in data center cooling systems is to address the root cause of the problem: the concentration of calcium and magnesium-type minerals in the water. These minerals can lead to scaling, which can reduce the cooling system’s efficiency and increase the “power usage effectiveness” (PUE).

Various water treatment equipment can be used to reduce the concentration of minerals in the water, such as reverse osmosis, electrodialysis reversal, capacitive deionization, or Chemstar WATER’s Cross-flow De-ionization (XDI™). These technologies can help to remove minerals from the water, making it less prone to scaling.

Chemstar WATER offers its data center customers a range of options for addressing water quality and scaling issues, depending on their specific needs. By implementing the right water treatment solution, data centers can help to ensure that their cooling systems operate efficiently and effectively.

Benefits of Chemstar WATER

At Chemstar WATER, we offer a range of benefits to help data centers optimize their cooling systems and improve their water and energy usage. Our continuous water testing and analysis can help data centers run their systems at the highest optimum cycles to achieve superior water usage effectiveness (WUE) and power water usage effectiveness (PUE). We also assess water and energy usage to identify the most efficient methods and build custom programs to minimize environmental and community impact.

In addition to these services, we can also help data centers maximize free-air cooling, which uses outside air to cool servers without consuming any water. This can be a highly effective and efficient way to keep servers at the right temperature.

In cases where the water quality changes dramatically, such as when switching from surface water to groundwater, Chemstar WATER can provide temporary mobile equipment, such as mobile reverse osmosis (RO) or deionization (DI) systems, to help maintain the quality of the water used in the cooling system. Overall, our services are designed to help data centers maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of their cooling systems and minimize their environmental impact.

Legionnaires Disease Prevention

Chemstar WATER also provides ongoing water testing and mitigation of Legionella, especially for Direct Evaporative (Adiabatic) Cooling systems. Using safe and environmentally friendly biocides is critical as the direct evaporative systems provide the air to the server room. Chemstar WATER develops proprietary solutions to inhibit the scaling of the fill media that extends the life of the media.

Finally, we regularly help our data center water treatment customers validate their drift eliminators to ensure that the cooling systems work effectively without any carry-over to the server room.

Get started on a data center water treatment plan today.


“Chemstar WATER’s understanding of our ecosystem and what our Data Centers require from our water treatment partnership was amazing. You were able to meet our Safety, Quality, Delivery and Cost objectives while producing KPIs to ensure we measured performance effectively.”

– a hyperscale data center sourcing director


For over two decades, Chemstar WATER has grown helping mission critical customers including high security government customers. With its dedicated personnel, low overhead, flat organization, and lean processes, Chemstar WATER:

  • Provides 24/7 live support by a certified technician
  • Deploys emergency response personnel within hours
  • Responds to your RFQ within hours
  • Signs master service agreement within weeks
  • Tests and adapts to new technologies within months


We maintain reasonable and flexible water technician schedules to manage emergencies and call-back times as our customers rely on us. We watch service capacity very carefully to ensure there is enough capacity. Our water technicians are educated in physics/chemistry and/or come from adjacent fields so they understand water treatment. Most of our technical staff are certified water treatment professionals that are supported by periodic internal and external training. We are ready to provide you with consulting, service, and support for anything related to water treatment. Our services include:

  • Legionella Sampling, Testing, and Mitigation
  • Water Management & Safety Plan
  • Monitor your make-up water quality 24/7
  • Emergency mobile softener, RO equipment
  • Improve Power Unit Effectiveness (PUE)
  • Improve Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE)
  • Water & Asset Management Program
Water Treatment Technology Agnostic


Chemstar WATER has proven to solve a barrage of customer challenges by bringing and adapting to the latest technologies in order to help achieve customers’ safety, quality, schedule, and cost goals. We provide water treatment for:

  • Direct Evaporative or Adiabatic Cooling Systems
  • Indirect Evaporative Cooling Systems
  • Sterilization and Potable Water Treatment
  • Innovative Glycol solutions for Closed Loop Systems
  • Water Treatment Equipment Maintenance
Data Center Water Treatment


We marry equipment with chemicals (as opposed to just chemicals) in providing a complete solution for our customers maximizing the water conservation in data center water treatment.

Speak with our Water Treatment Experts today.