Water Treatment For Your Water Wash Spray Booth

What happens if you don’t treat the water in the spray booth?

If your water is left untreated, paint sludge from your paint booth system creates a contaminated and unhygienic problem, which can:

  • Create safety hazards
  • Increase system corrosion
  • Disrupt air balance
  • Increase foaming tendency
  • Disrupt sludge handling and removal
  • Clog pipes and pumps
  • Increase cleaning frequency and costs
  • Increase bacterial load


Without treatment, bacterial and fungal slimes can lead to high risks from Legionnaires’ disease and booth odour problems.  Spray booth systems are an excellent breeding ground for many types of biological growth.


These factors reduce efficiency, put your system at risk, create costly down time, shorten plant life, and waste energy, chemicals and water charges.


What is Legionnaires’ disease?

A form of bacterial pneumonia which is spread chiefly by water droplets (that contain bacteria) through air conditioning and similar systems.

There is a reasonably foreseeable legionella risk if your water system:

  • Has a water temperature between 20-45oC
  • Creates and/or spreads breathable droplets
  • Stores and/or re-circulates water
  • Likely to contain a source of nutrients for the organism to grow, e.g. rust, sludge, scale, organic matter and biofilms

Treatment for Legionnaires’ disease in hospital includes: antibiotics directly into a vein, oxygen through a face mask or tubes in your nose, a machine to help you breathe.


What are Biological Odours?

Most biological odours are caused by anaerobic bacteria.  Aside from the obvious unpleasant odour that they create, the bacteria could be working overtime plugging up back sections, spray heads/nozzles and other booth water components.   The anaerobic bacteria which residue underneath the deposits are corrosive, creating the potential for premature both component failure and spiralling maintenance costs.


These unpleasant odours can lead to worker complaints, lost productivity and health concerns.  What the odours could also be indicating is that the system is in trouble and that other problems are on the horizon, such as stack emissions control, booth operating efficiency, booth component longevity and increased booth maintenance costs.


Paint spray booth systems can provide all the ingredients needed for biological growth – moisture, oxygen for aerobic bacteria, chemical nutrients and hiding places or growth sites (solids) for anaerobes, the primary odour causers.  Due to the solids build-up being a seed for biological growth, it is necessary to remove solids and provide adequate paint denaturant.


The most important maintenance chore is routine clean-up of booth water locations where solids tend to accumulate, aside from chemical treatment, for reducing the ability of anaerobic bacteria to hide out and send their odours signals.


Therefore, biological odours can be kept in check when the proper combination of chemical treatment, equipment maintenance and biocide application are used together.


What water treatment options are there?

A well-maintained spray booth will considerably reduce lost time procedures and improve efficiency.


Denaturant (de-tackify)

Adding a solution from the Gramos TAKkill Denaturant range to a spray booth water system will rapidly de-tackify the paint overspray ensuring that it is denatured to the required degree.  This will make the overspray float or sink, according to booth design, in an easily removable form with minimal paint sticking to the system and causing additional down time to remove the paint. (Paint overspray will still bond to surfaces even when it’s in moving water!) 


Flotation Additives

For larger systems commonly found within automotive tier 1, removing the paint from the system on a daily basis is essential.  To do this the booth will have a paint separation system (also known as a Co-Ag system) to skim the denatured paint into recovery sacks.  To position the paint ready to be skimmed, a flotation additive is added prior to the separation system to raise the denatured paint to the surface. This helps to save time and money on disposal of waste.  Flotation additives are normally used in conjunction with other TAKkill denaturant products which remove the tackiness of the resins prior to separation and removal.


Biocide Additives

Spray booth biocide is specially developed for the complete microbiological protection of the water within water wash paint spray booths.  It is a red-brown liquid particularly suitable for the elimination of offensive odours caused by bacteria in the water.


Anti-Foam/pH Regulators

Occasionally the type of paint being used may promote excessive foam in the system or the system may sometimes need treating with a pH regulator to maintain the correct level of alkalinity to boost paint removal effectiveness.



Contact us and get in touch for your spray booth water treatment solutions.   Call our technical helpline on 01302 571503, or email sales@ultrimaxcoatings.co.uk.


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