The fluctuation of fouling data, a well-known fouling phenomenon, was recognized in applications three decades ago, but it had not yet been well understood. Of specific interest is long term, combined precipitation and particulate fouling in cooling tower systems. Fouling data collected in seven 15.54 mm I.D. copper, helically ribbed tubes at water velocity (1.07 m/s) at practical conditions shows an oscillatory behavior. In order to observe it, a water temperature difference of 3.0°C, or greater, was needed for adequate accuracy based on an uncertainty analysis. Oscillatory model was used to analyze the data. The frequencies of the fluctuation are the same for the seven tested tube geometries. A series of semi-theoretical correlations of fluctuation of the long-term cooling tower water fouling data were developed. It was found that there are two ranges of amplitudes of the fluctuation based on internal parameters: linear range and non-linear range.

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