November 2011

Special Report: Plant Safety and Environment

Mitigate refinery influent water supply contamination

Resolving critical water supply and quality issues by managing risk and implementing successful solutions

Huchler, L. A., MarTech Systems, Inc.; Garrison, W., Valero Energy Corp.

Freshwater supply is critical to refinery operations, although the centralized design makes it a potential single-point source of failure. Contamination of the freshwater supply to a refinery is a significant event because it creates the risks of derating or complete shutdown of the refinery, as well as damaged equipment. Managing these risks requires pre-planning to anticipate potential hazards, as well as intensive management of the pretreatment water system during these events to reduce the negative impact on units that use purified water, such as evaporative cooling water circuits and steam generators. This article discusses two events that compromised the influent water supply to a

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