Heat Flux and Boiling Regimes: Part 2
What’s really interesting is that if you were to crank up the burner to 11 at Step 5 and allow the surface temperature of the bottom of the pot to continue increasing, the heat flux through the bottom of the pan absolutely falls off the cliff.  That’s peculiar… despite the fact we’ve added more heat, the heat transfer has dropped – how could this be? In this scenario, the water at the bottom of the... Read More »
What are Auditors asking for when looking at Water Management Plans to reduce the risk of Legionella?
Since the CMS’s publication of the memo requiring Healthcare facilities to adopt a Water Management Plan and to conduct regular Legionella testing to reduce the risk of Legionella in building water systems in June of 2017, the most common question we get from our clients is “What will the Auditors be asking for?”  Well, we now have firsthand experience on the subject.  In the Real Estate business, the saying is Location, Location, Location.  For Water... Read More »
Keep the Water Flowing
Keep the Water Flowing.  This statement represents one of those basic rules of thumb in managing any water system.  Lack of flow can lead to wide-spread system problems with microbial fouling, corrosion and even fouling from sediment.  Without flow and turbulence, water systems will accumulate dissolved gases, suspended sediment will separate from bulk waters, and at the right temperatures biological/organic fouling will be initiated.  Chemical inhibitors cannot do the appropriate job of passivating metal unless... Read More »
Heat Flux and the Boiling Regimes: Part 1
By Luke Wonnell Besides being a wicked awesome band name, the title of this article refers to some 201 level Thermodynamic principles that have a significant impact on the performance of your steam boiler. “Heat flux” defines how much heat transfer occurs through a given material’s surface area and is expressed in (Btu/hr-in2 or W/m2).  Think of the bottom of a pot as the given surface area… the heat flux simply defines how many Btu’s/hr... Read More »
Wait… Water has a 2nd Liquid State?
By Luke Wonnell If you’re like me then you remember learning in High School chemistry or pre-req college courses that water has 3 states: solid, liquid and gas right? Water becomes solid ice below 32⁰F, exists as a liquid between 33⁰F and 212⁰F and starts to boil off to a gas at 212⁰F. While these critical points remain, it turns out the liquid state may be a lot more complex than we originally thought.  A... Read More »
Modern HVAC Design
Modern HVAC design often employs a wide selection of metals which are used in system components and transmission lines.  New construction specifications require protection for systems comprised of steel, copper, bronze, stainless steel, galvanized and even aluminum.  In most cases, multiple metals are usually present in any given system.  In addition, some component suppliers specify/demand unique water chemistry conditions for their component, while they may or may not be compatible with protection strategies for other... Read More »
Glycol Systems
Glycol systems present Facility Managers with a host of new challenges and opportunities.  Protecting systems from freezing in cold weather climates is critical.  However, glycol can behave very differently and requires that water system conditions be carefully prepared in advance.  Without attention to detail, these systems can produce unwanted headaches.  Dealing with fouled glycol systems for example, can be very problematic. Depending upon the severity and type of problem encountered, strategies could include filtration, microbiological... Read More »
What Exactly is a British Thermal Unit (BTU)?
What Exactly is a British Thermal Unit (BTU)? By Luke Wonnell Oh the Imperial system… home to such gems as hectares, stones, bushels and pints. Personally I’m a fan of that last one, especially when served cold.  The Imperial system is very finicky: 12 inches to a foot, water freezes at 32⁰F, boils at 212⁰F, and the water used to fill a pint glass weighs 1.08lbs. Meanwhile the metric system is so neat and tidy:... Read More »
Biofilm Control
Presence of the Legionella organism in water systems can often be associated with the presence of biofilm.  Biofilm is a sticky substance which forms under the right conditions, often appearing as slime.  It attaches to piping and component surfaces, and provides the ideal environment for a community of organisms, including Legionella, to live and thrive.  Therefore, controlling biofilm is an integral part of controlling Legionella, and its removal is essential to achieving a proper state... Read More »
Reduce Energy Costs with Water Treatment
How does Water Treatment result in Energy Savings for my Building? The primary functions of a Chemical Water Treatment program for heating and cooling systems that use water as a heat transfer medium are the control of scale, corrosion and micro organisms. Left untreated, water will cause scale or mineral deposits to form on heat transfer surfaces, thereby reducing efficiency and increasing energy costs.  Exposed to untreated water, metal is subject to corrosion.  The corrosion... Read More »
Updated HPD Heat Season Requirements
Updated HPD Heat Season Requirements By Luke Wonnell On Monday, October 2nd, 2017, NYC Housing Preservation & Development released new requirements which were made effective for the start of the 2017-2018 heat season.  This release included specific changes to the nighttime heating requirements: The law requires that from October 1 to May 31: Between 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M., inside temperatures are maintained at a minimum of 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outdoor temperature falls... Read More »
Cooling Tower Overflow
Cooling tower overflow is a subtle, yet costly problem which often goes unnoticed.  The challenge is more pronounced during colder weather when heat rejection and evaporation requirements tend to be lower.  The primary purpose of the cooling tower is to reduce water consumption.  Overflow obviously defeats this purpose by robbing those savings.  The problem can easily be prevented by conducting simple water chemistry tests, which should demonstrate that towers are cycling at or near desired... Read More »
Boiler Horsepower (BHP)
What Exactly is Boiler Horsepower (BHP)? By Luke Wonnell In the United States, the output capacity of steam boilers is expressed as Boiler Horsepower (BHP) whereas hydronic boilers are typically sized based on their input capacity in Btu’s/hr.  There are definite differences between these two methods, but it is possible to convert between the two units of measure. 1 Boiler Horsepower (1 BHP) is defined as the capacity of a boiler to boil 34.5 lbs... Read More »
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Incentives
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Incentives By Luke Wonnell Did you know that NYSERDA allocated $82 Million in financial incentives for the installation of grid-connected Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems in New York?  And did you know that PSEG offers rebates up to $2 Million for qualified CHP projects in Long Island? According to NYSERDA’s website, applications for this program must be received by December 31st, 2018 although they have made public comments they... Read More »
Heating Degree Days & Fuel Consumption: Part 4
Finally, let’s recalculate the HDD data and present in a pie chart that shows each month’s expected fuel consumption as a percentage of the yearly total:   While every boiler system is unique and has its own nuances, the historical monthly fuel consumption for heating purposes SHOULD follow these charts fairly close.  If you notice a significant discrepancy between your historical fuel consumption and the pie charts, there are a number of issues that may... Read More »
Heating Degree Days & Fuel Consumption: Part 3
Next, let’s look at the Cumulative HDDs for Manhattan from 2014 – 2017 using 55⁰F as the Balance Point:   2014 (green) was the most severe heat season, finishing up with 2883 HDDs for the year. 2016 (purple) was the mildest heat season, finishing up with 2229 HDDs for the year. 2017 (pink) is trending closely to 2016 and will be another relatively mild heat season. Next, let’s look at the HDD data on a... Read More »
Heating Degree Days & Fuel Consumption: Part 2
First, let’s look at the Average Daily Temperatures for Manhattan from 2014 – 2017 and how that relates to New York’s heat season which begins October 1st and continues through May 31st: Between 6:00A.M. – 10:00P.M., inside temperatures are maintained at a minimum of 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees (orange). Between 10:00P.M. – 6:00A.M., inside temperatures are maintained at a minimum of 55 degrees when the outdoor temperature falls... Read More »
Legionella & Water Management Webinar Recap
On Tuesday, December 5th, The Metro Group, Inc. hosted its first of many upcoming webinars that will be discussing and educating on subjects relating to Water Treatment, Water Management, and Boiler/Burner Efficiency Testing and Care. This particular webinar titled “Legionella & Water Management and Real-World Experience for Building Water Management Plans,” was a free webinar training that focused on the Do’s and Don’ts of putting together a Water Management Plan to reduce the risk of... Read More »
Heating Degree Days & Fuel Consumption: Part 1
Heating Degree Days (HDDs) are a unit of measure that indicates how mild or severe a heating season was or will be by comparing the Average Daily Temperature to the “Balance Point” which is the outside temperature below which heating is required. For example, assume there are 10 days in a month where the Average Daily Temperature is 10⁰F colder than the Balance Point and the rest of the days are above the Balance Point. ... Read More »
Chlorine Test Kit Demonstration
Want some more information on our new Chlorine Test Kit? Check out the video in the link below: https://vimeo.com/174805391 Read More »
Legionella Testing on Potable Water Systems
For those Facilities carrying out Legionella testing on potable water systems, please consider the following suggestions in your quest to be compliant.  We should not take the sampling approach lightly, with the lone objective to check the box that confirms samples were drawn.  Rather, please think carefully about your building’s piping infrastructure, and develop a true strategy.  When you plan a sampling event around the most probable places for hide-out, chances of detection improve exponentially. ... Read More »
Understanding a Cooling Tower MPP Series – Part 7
Notification and Communication Strategies For the last part of our MPP series we will talk about the communications requirement of RCNY 8-03. This component requires a management program & plan to identify how results from cooling tower related activities will be received by different team members, and ultimately notification given to the department of health if necessary. This area will also spell out the flow of results that require corrective action will be communicated and... Read More »
Recent Legionnaires’ Outbreaks
There is growing awareness, publicity and liability due to high profile legionella outbreaks. Contact us to make sure your facility as a Water Management in place to reduce your likelihood of risk and liability. Five Recent Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks: 1. Hospital plumbing system implicated in 46 cases, including 4 deaths. Forty-Six Legionella infections have been diagnosed among patients of a hospital in the Lisbon area of Portugal since October 31. Four of the patients have... Read More »
Limit Litigation Liabilities – Healthcare Facilities
 Every administrator in a health care environment is interested in limiting litigation and liability. When it comes to potable water and the minimization of Legionella in this water system – there are some very definite steps that every institution can take to limit the liability and litigation potentials. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a document in June of 2017 that outlined expectations for Healthcare Facilities. These expectations follow closely the directives... Read More »
Understanding a Cooling Tower MPP Series: Part 6
Start-up and Shutdown Procedures For the next section of our MPP series we will talk about the Start-Up and Shutdown procedures that must be included in an MPP. As this is considered a very important element of the Maintenance Program & Plan the Department of Health has broken these requirements into its own statute of code that correlates with the MPP requirement (RCNY 8-06). To start the MPP must reference procedures that cover the following... Read More »
Cooling Tower Disease Prevention
In addition to corrosion, deposit, and general fouling prevention, responsible cooling water treatment must now also involve disease prevention.  An increasingly important tool for augmenting the chemical water treatment program is filtration.  While cooling water filters come in many designs, a properly selected filter offers two primary benefits: Particulate Removal – Suspended solids that are not properly dispersed and removed from recirculating water through normal treatment and bleed-off, can provide nutrient sources which encourage microbial... Read More »
Understanding a Cooling Tower MPP Series: Part 5
Corrective Action As part of an MPP it is required to denote how corrective action will be carried out as per DOH requirements shown in tables 8-1 and 8-2 of RCNY Chapter 8. The following items are categories that need to be monitored and have corrective action taken if necessary. Bacteria dip slides that come back with a result greater than 10,000 cfu will require a corrective action which varies based on the level of... Read More »
Understanding A Cooling Tower MPP Series: Part 4
Part 4. Control Measures For the next segment of our understanding an MPP series we highlight the control measures section. This requirement has multiple components that include but are not limited to the following: Checklists for routine monitoring (3x weekly water quality testing and 1x weekly visual inspection) Checklists for the mechanical maintenance requirements A table that denotes the different water treatment program items and their frequency, what team members responsibility it falls on, and... Read More »
Corrosion and Bacterial Problems in Off-line Chillers
Many large commercial and healthcare facilities are designed with multiple chillers that get their condenser water from a single large tower water system. During the summer months, when the comfort cooling demand is high, there is a regular flow of tower water through all of the chillers. The tower system is treated with a corrosion inhibitor, an oxidizing biocide and a non-oxidizing biocide that are designed to control corrosion and bacterial growth in the system.... Read More »
Complimentary Webinar on Legionella & Water Management – Real Word Experience for Building Water Management Plan’s – Presented by The Metro Group
The Metro Group is proud to present a free webinar training on the Do’s and Don’ts of putting together a Water Management Plan to reduce the risk of Legionella in facility water systems based on the real world experience of Metro’s water treatment professionals. This seminar has been designed for the building personnel responsible for creating and implementing plans; Facility Managers, Maintenance, Infection Control, EHS & Engineering. The Metro Group has extensive experience creating &... Read More »
What is a Load Letter and Why Is It Important?
When a Building decides that they want to convert their oil burning boiler to one fired on natural gas, one of the first steps in the project is to complete and submit a gas “Load Letter” to Con Edison. This Load Letter can be submitted by either authorized personnel for the building or agents engaged to work on the building’s behalf such as an engineer or contractor. The Load Letter lists and describes the existing gas burning... Read More »
Preventing Seasonal Water System Damage
Winter is fast approaching. It is a well-documented, but often misunderstood fact that water system damage can and does occur when systems are NOT IN OPERATION.  The default belief is that problems only need to be controlled while a system is under flow and transferring heat.  Not true.  Some would argue that PM treatment is easy while things are flowing.  However, the water treatment professional should worry equally as much about what might happen in... Read More »
Understanding a Cooling Tower MPP Series: Part 3
Part 3. Risk Assessment The next section required to be included in preparation of a management program and plan is the risk assessment. Naturally, this is one of the most important components of the plan as it will segregate and identify a number of factors specific to the site that will dictate risk management, and minimize risk of legionella. As required by RCNY chapter 8 the risk assessment must evaluate the following data: Any dead... Read More »
Point of Entry
Once the Ruling to move forward with a natural gas conversion is received, a” POE” or “Point of Entry” appointment needs to be requested.  The POE is that location where Con Edison, or some other Natural Gas Utility, and the contractor, determine that the new gas service will enter the building.  Multiple factors need to be evaluated to select an optimal POE location. Therefore, upon request of a POE appointment, an on-site meeting is scheduled... Read More »
Understanding A Cooling Tower MPP Series: Part 2
Part 2. System Identification As part of the requirements when compiling a management program and plan, the Department of Health asks that a qualified person includes a system identification section. This portion of an MPP is supposed to include the following: 1.The number of cooling towers in the cooling tower system 2.The location of each cooling tower in relation to the building and the building address, block and lot number. 3.The Dimensions and characteristics of... Read More »
Water Treatment Firms
When selecting a water treatment firm to work with, customers often wonder which base criteria will make the most difference. All things considered, many have found that selecting a member firm from the Association of Water Technologies is a great place to start (www.awt.org). Next, from within the AWT, look further to firms who have employees on staff that have achieved the important CWT distinction. The Certified Water Technologist (CWT) has undergone the industry’s most... Read More »
Understanding a Cooling Tower MPP Series: Part 1
Part 1. Team Members and Their Responsibilities As part of creation of a management program and plan it is crucial to lay out the different members that will be involved with the servicing and management of the cooling tower, and assign responsibilities as necessary. Typical categories of team members fall under these roles: 1. Owner – The owner of the cooling tower equipment. 2. Owners Representative – Typically responsible for NYC & NYS Compliance Registration/Uploads.... Read More »
Saving Money on your Facilities Water Bill
Many Pubic Water/Wastewater Providers offer “sewer abatement programs”. These programs are typically for irrigation, humidification, and cooling tower systems. The reason these programs are offered is because these systems create little or no waste stream. “Why pay a sewer charge when you are not putting anything into the sewer”. In the case of irrigation systems and humidification boilers, you will be required to install one dedicated water meter for each system. You will be charged... Read More »
Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol is being specified on a more frequent basis to support freeze protection and heat transfer in the HVAC universe. There are many brands and what seems like a plethora of options available. Therefore, there is much confusion in the market as some glycols may even be offered on a simple commodity basis. Smart consumers will recognize the subtle differences. Suppliers of glycol can be differentiated by considering several key factors. First, flexibility in... Read More »
Why Do You Need to Test For Legionella?
Water Hygiene is the responsibility of Building Owners, Property Managers and Maintenance Departments to reduce the risk of Legionella in any water system with the potential for human contact. The recently ratified ASHRAE 188 standard establishes the minimum requirements for a buildings risk management plan. These practices have already made their way in to legislation and guidelines. New York became the first State to pass laws requiring that building owners and healthcare facilities develop a... Read More »
Does my Healthcare Facilities Accreditation require Legionella Testing?
Auditors with Healthcare Accreditation agencies such as The Joint Commission (JCAHO) will be looking for Water Management Plan documents as of June 2017. The CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), with the issuance of S&C 17-30, requires that all Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals and Long-Term Care facilities implement a water management program that includes control measures and environmental testing to reduce the risk of Legionella in any water system with the potential for human... Read More »
Green Buildings – Green Industries
Much information has been put forth concerning the need for green, sustainable technologies to protect our planet and our indoor/outdoor environments. Unfortunately, when it comes to a conversation about chemical water treatment for HVAC and Industrial systems, some have suggested that since ‘chemicals’ are employed, the industry cannot possibly be Green. This sentiment cannot be further from the truth. In fact, the Water Treatment industry is at the very foundation of Green. Building managers, Plant... Read More »
Annual Boiler Inspection
When it comes to your annual boiler inspections, the city allows clients to submit inspection results on any given day of the calendar year (as long as submitted within 30 days of the inspection date). Upon completing the annual boiler inspection, the average companies file the results to the city regardless of what they report. This can be problematic for the client as the client would then be on the clock to resolve any defects... Read More »
Guaranteed Fine For Your Building
If you own, or manage a building that owns and operates a cooling tower you already know; NYC is looking fine you for even the smallest deviation from Local Law 77. One aspect of the law that you may not be aware of is that your annual cooling tower certification document must be uploaded to the Department of Buildings (DOB) website. Most operators think that having their certification on site, or uploading it to the... Read More »
Preventing Legionellosis
Preventing Legionellosis has risen on the priority list of Building Owners and Managers due to heightened awareness and unfolding regulations in parts of the US. Taking proactive steps to ensure water system safety involves effective planning, development of/adherence to a water management plan, and specific testing for the organism. While it is estimated that there are over 50 species and 70 serogroups of Legionella, community-acquired Legionnaire’s Disease is dominated by Legionella pneumophila, serogroup 1. Therefore,... Read More »
What is a Boiler (ECB) Violation and Why Did I Get One?
An ECB (The Environmental Control Board) violation is issued by the Department of Buildings when a property does not comply with a part of the New York City Construction Codes and or Zoning Resolution.” These violations are received via an inspector visiting your site and writing up any violating conditions in regards to the boiler room and the boiler(s) themselves. Unlike Annual boiler inspections, where all it takes to receive the violation is the city... Read More »
Is Your Cooling Tower Compliant for 2017?
In NYC, Local Law 77 requires two cooling tower cleanings to be completed each year by November 1st.  The 2nd tower cleaning can be completed at any time during the year, so there is no need to delay scheduling the cleaning until you are ready to shut down. Delaying scheduling of the 2nd tower cleaning can only lead to potential fines.  If it gets too cold workers will not be able to clean the tower,... Read More »
Congratulations to John Calorits!
Please Join us in Congratulating The Metro Group’s Director of Technology, John Calorits, CWT (Certfied Water Technologist), for being selected as the Chair of the Cooling Water Committee for the AWT (Association of Water Technologies)!      In addition to Chairing the Cooling Water Committee, John is also a member of the Association’s, “Legionella Task Force”; a select group of nationally recognized experts and thought-leaders on the topic of Legionella in Water Systems who work at... Read More »