Cooling systems not harmful

Published: Thursday, 25 March 2010

A STUDENT from Huddersfield University has shown that water pumped back into the canals from cooling systems is not harmful to aquatic life as first thought.

In the past it was thought that the warm water discharged from cooling systems pumped back into the canals was harmful to aquatic life in the water, but student Jafar Ali has shown that this is not so, Alan Tilbury reports.


The Environment Agency monitors the discharge of warm water  from cooling systems, and has the power to block the use of canal water in their use.

But Jafar has developed a model of a stretch of canal in a laboratory tank, releasing dyed water and using devices such as flow meters to observe the effects of discharges.

No damaging effect

He has been able to demonstrate that warm water discharge into canals need not have a damaging effect on the aquatic life. He has shown that only when the water temperature of a canal reaches 28°C that environmental damage occurs, and the model he has constructed shows how this can be avoided.

British Waterways now intends to make use of this new technique Ali has developed.