Non-Chemical Water Treatment Devices – Fact or Fallacy
For as long as conventional water treatment has been around, the industry has been looking for ways to eliminate the need for chemical treatment of boiler and cooling systems. Non-Chemical Water Treatment Devices (NCD’s) are often marketed as revolutionary options to water treatment – thus eliminating many of the issues associated with chemistry. The industry has been faced with asking the questions: Will it work? and Is it worth the risk? There is no “silver... Read More »
Ohio Hospital Searches for Source of Deadly Legionnaires’ Outbreak
Health officials in Ohio are on high alert as a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak linked to a new hospital has turned deadly. According to the Ohio Department of Health, there have been 8 cases of the disease documented between May 12 and May 31 and 1 death. In a rare adjudication order issued on May 31st, Amy Acton, MD, MPH, director of the Ohio Department of Health, demanded that the Mount Carmel Grove City Hospital take immediate action... Read More »
Federal Government Lead Action Plan (Drinking Water Safety & Water Quality)
Seventeen separate US Government departments and agencies are now collaborating to advance efforts aimed at “remediating health hazards to keep children safe from lead poisoning.”  The four goals of the Lead Action Plan are: Goal 1: Reduce Children’s Exposure to Lead Sources Goal 2: Identify Lead-Exposed Children and Improve their Health Outcomes Goal 3: Communicate More Effectively with Stakeholders Goal 4: Support and Conduct Critical Research to Inform Efforts to Reduce Lead Exposures and Related Health Risks... Read More »
Health Officials Investigating 2 Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease
HEALTH   Colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) with moderately-high magnification depicts a large grouping of Gram-negative Legionella pneumophila bacteria. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) The Illinois Department of Public Health said late last week it was investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease in patients who had received treatment at the University of Chicago Medical Center. IDPH, along with the Chicago Department of Public Health, visited the South Side facility last week to test the facility’s... Read More »
Troubleshooting Softener Brine Draw Issues
Water softening has several facets to its proper operation. One of those is proper flow for certain functions. One function of the water softener that directly relates to flow is the brining and rinsing of resin during re-generation. The Brine valve consists of a mechanical valve that opens and closes during brine-draw and refill cycles. This valve controls the addition of water to the brine tank. During the regeneration cycle this valve should be checked... Read More »
Utah assisted living center dealing with Legionnaires’ disease
TAYLORSVILLE — An assisted living facility in Taylorsville implemented a no tap water policy after two of its residents contracted Legionnaires’ disease. “The last month has been … very unsettling,” said Norma Soderborg Harris, a resident at Legacy House of Taylorsville. On Thursday, signs hanging in rooms, bathrooms and above drinking fountains warned residents not to use the water. For more than a week the staff has provided water bottles for drinking, washing and bathing.... Read More »
IDPH Investigating Legionella Possibly Associated with Chicago Hospital
2019 in Health | Comments Off on IDPH Investigating Legionella Possibly Associated with Chicago Hospital The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease in patients possibly exposed at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago, and a report of Legionella in the facility’s water system.  The investigation is currently limited to this facility; the general public is not at risk. IDPH, along with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), were onsite Thursday to... Read More »
Cooling Water Treatment Program Control (Which Tests Should I Run?)
For any treatment regimen to be successful, the water quality must be monitored and maintained.   This is accomplished through a series of control tests carried out to ensure consistency and to prevent the development of waterside problems.  These are typically done by the facilities’ operating personnel, the WTSC (water treatment service company) or both.  It is an interesting development that some jurisdictions such as NYC now require cooling tower readings be taken three times per... Read More »
Cooling Water Treatment Program Control (On-Line Monitoring Options)
Technology has improved all aspects of our existence.  Yes, it has even made its way into the unfamiliar terrain of water treatment.  The water treatment program for most cooling towers today is supported by the use of a “controller.”  These are special devices which collect input signals from either electronic probes or meters and (together with chemical feed pumps) are used to proportionally output/dose treatment chemicals, or to add biocides.  They also serve to regulate... Read More »
Legionnaires’ Disease Resulted in up to 49 Cases
New Hampshire health officials say last summer’s Legionnaires’ disease outbreak resulted in up to 49 confirmed, probable or suspected cases, and was linked to two deaths. HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire health officials say last summer’s Legionnaires’ disease outbreak resulted in up to 49 confirmed, probable or suspected cases, and was linked to two deaths. The report released last week by the state Department of Health and Human Services, reiterates the state’s finding last year that... Read More »
Under Deposit Corrosion in Cooling Water
Under deposit corrosion in cooling systems have been one of the most prevalent problems in our industry.  It is also one of the least understood problems with field level engineers and clients alike. Deposits occur in cooling systems due to colloidal sediment, environmental debris, scale, old corrosion deposits re-depositing on metal surfaces and of course biofilm. When deposits form on metal surfaces, the corrosion inhibitors added to systems simply cannot do their job, since they... Read More »
Legionella exposure sickens 2, causes closure of Waco YMCA
Health authorities in Waco, Texas, are investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease believed to be connected to the Waco Family YMCA. Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia or lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria, which are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets in the form of mist or vapor. “Exposure to the Legionella bacteria may have occurred at the Waco Family YMCA,” Rodney Martin, president and CEO of the YMCA of Central Texas, was quoted in a notice to visitors. While the facility... Read More »
Conservation through Service
By John Caloritis As part of its continuing dedication to environmental protection and awareness, The Metro Group, Inc. has launched its 2019 campaign of “Conservation through Service”.  This theme is being put into action through a variety of channels: our services have been revamped to conserve water and energy, decrease fuel emissions, and prolong the life of existing infrastructure avoiding costly repair and unnecessary waste of raw materials. The Metro Group began its storied history... Read More »
Four Legionnaires’ disease cases linked to Crookston hotel
By Ken Chase on Feb 19, 2019 at 3:37 p.m. CROOKSTON, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating four cases of Legionnaires’ disease linked to a hotel in northwestern Minnesota. Four people reported getting sick between Jan. 22 and Jan. 27 after staying at the Crookston Inn and Convention Center. None of them stayed in the hotel overnight and visited the hotel for different occasions, the Department of Health said in a news release. Legionnaires’... Read More »
Closed Loop Systems Treated With Glycol
Closed Loop Systems Treated With Glycol A variety of heat transfer fluids are used to provide freeze protection for industrial equipment and HVAC closed-loop heating and cooling systems.  These fluids may be used in systems that operate anywhere between -60°F to 300°F. Many heat transfer fluids are glycol-based, containing either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol.  Additives may include corrosion inhibitors (high concentrations of phosphate or nitrite), alkalinity stabilizers, and in some cases – fluorescent dyes... Read More »
Legionella bacteria found at University Hospital of Brooklyn
 PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS – A bacteria known to cause Legionnaires’ disease was found at the University Hospital of Brooklyn, according to multiple tests. The Prospect Lefferts Garden hospital, which is part of the SUNY Downstate campus, says that testing revealed a high percentage of legionella pneumophila in the building’s water. The hospital announced that staff and patients will only use bottled water for drinking and brushing their teeth. They added in a statement, “While we understand... Read More »
Alexandria’s Alomere Health investigating outbreak
By News Services on February 2nd, 2019 to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation. Two cases of Legionnaires’ disease since November have prompted officials at Alomere Health hospital in Alexandria, Minnesota, to work with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to try and identify possible sources of Legionellabacteria. The first patient was sickened at Alomere Health, located at 111 17th Avenue East, in late November; that patient recovered. The most recent patient infected with the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness developed... Read More »
Erosion Corrosion
There are multiple factors which can contribute to corrosion within a closed loop system. For this blog we will concentrate on erosion corrosion. This is caused by particulate in the system sand blasting the piping, causing leaks typically in elbows and threaded sections of the piping. This can also be damaging to small areas of newer high efficiency boilers. There are many factors that can lead to this particulate, including improper cleaning of a hydronic... Read More »
First 2019 outbreak results in death in Pennsylvania By News Services 
The year’s first Legionnaires’ disease outbreak has claimed a life after two patients at a Richlandtown, Pennsylvania, care center were confirmed with the deadly respiratory illness, according to WFMZ-TV. The two individuals, who came to Phoebe Richland Health Care Center from two area hospitals, were diagnosed on Jan. 2 and Jan. 5. The patient who passed away died due to multiple contributing health factors, according to a statement released by Phoebe Richland officials. The other resident is in... Read More »
Legionnaire’s disease bacteria found in water supply at Hastings hospital
This story has been updated on 12/28/2018. Recent testing of the water supply at Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital in Hastings found positive results for Legionella bacteria. Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease. The results were reported to the Barry-Eaton District Health Department on Wednesday. The testing was done after a second case of Legionnaire’s disease in patients at the hospital was identified in November. It’s “unknown if the two recent cases at the... Read More »
2017 CDC report Update
By Bobby Armstrong on December 20, 2018 A 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Legionnaires’ disease is widespread in long-term care facilities – and 75 percent of cases could be prevented with better water management. The most recent example of this is happening currently at University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, where an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has resulted in 14 patients being sickened – and three of them dying. The primary suspect in the outbreak: a change in... Read More »
Bottom Blowdown – The Right Way
The sequence of valve operation in boiler blowdown is extremely important.  Despite the variety of procedures in practice, there is one, and only one, proper sequence in opening and closing the bottom blowdown valves of the boiler. The opening sequence is to open valve B first and then valve A.  The closing sequence is to close valve A first and then valve B (Figure 1).  When this sequence of events is followed, the open space... Read More »
University of Wisconsin outbreak hits 11
Six new illnesses have been identified in the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at University Hospital in Madison, raising the case count to 11, according to UW Health officials. The outbreak was first reported on Nov. 28 when four cases of the deadly respiratory illness were confirmed. A fifth case and a fatality were announced the next day. The new illnesses were not unexpected as officials expected the count to grow, due to the exposure window to Legionella, the bacteria that causes... Read More »
Legionella discovered at McHenry Villa
“Legionnaires lawyer Elliot Olsen has regained millions of dollars for clients harmed by Legionnaires’ disease. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease at McHenry Villa, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation. An Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) investigation uncovered Legionellabacteria and structural issues with the plumbing system at the McHenry Villa Senior Living facility in McHenry. Three residents were sickened with Legionnaires’ disease in early November, and one of them – former McHenry... Read More »
Preparing Cooling Towers and Heating Boilers For Winter Operation: Part 2
HEATING BOILER STARTUP CHECKLIST: Have a competent service representative disassemble the low-water cutoff and makeup water feeding devices.  All parts should be thoroughly cleaned and reconditioned as required, then tested before the boiler is put into regular service. Burner equipment should be cleaned and adjusted to give maximum efficiency.  This can save fuel dollars. The safety/relief valve should be tested for freedom of operation.  This is of primary importance.  The boiler must not be fired... Read More »
Preparing Cooling Towers and Heating Boilers For Winter Operation: Part 1
This is that in-between time of year when facilities managers are preparing both heating boilers and cooling towers for winter operation.  Here are two checklists that will assist in getting these systems ready for cold weather operation and help avoid unexpected equipment failure.  WINTERIZATION TIPS FOR COOLING TOWERS: Fall is an excellent time to prepare cooling towers for the rigors of winter operation.  Here is a list of major maintenance items to take care of:... Read More »
Legionella Found At All But 3 West Orange Schools
Samples of the hazardous pathogen have been found at all but three of the district’s schools, West Orange administrators said. By Eric Kiefer, Patch Staff | Sep 27, 2018 12:55 pm ET | Updated Sep 28, 2018 11:34 am ET WEST ORANGE, NJ — First they were found at town hall. Then they were found at a half-dozen other municipal buildings. Now, less than six weeks after Legionella bacteria was discovered in the water at... Read More »
Cost Savings with Evaporation Credits
Cost Savings with Evaporation Credits With a growing desire to conserve energy, water and other resources, a commonly overlooked option for cost savings is Cooling Tower Evaporation Credits. With the growing costs of fresh water supply and sanitary service, taking advantage of evaporation credits can provide a cost savings towards plant operations budget. Evaporation is calculated by recording water make-up to the cooling tower, then subtracting water discharge via blow down. The difference is water... Read More »
NYC DOB Update: August
Customers will be able to schedule, cancel, and review appointments through a convenient website. To access the new system, users will enter the same DOB ID Number and PIN they previously provided when calling 311. For all appointments with a Plan Examiner through Friday, October 5  Continue to call 311 to make or cancel an appointment if the desired or scheduled meeting date is before or on October 5.  As appointments and cancellations... Read More »
Protection Against Legionella: Cooling Tower Requirements 2018
A cooling tower is part of a recirculated water system incorporated into a building’s cooling, industrial, refrigeration or energy production system. All owners of cooling towers in New York State are required to register their towers in the New York State Cooling Tower Registry, prepare and implement a Maintenance Program and Plan, test their towers for Legionella, clean and disinfect them, andp notify their local health department and the public when they identify elevated levels of Legionella in... Read More »
Top 5 NYC “End of Cooling Season” Tower Considerations
 1 – Cooling Tower Cleaning First and foremost, for a seasonal tower, ensure you have completed both Cooling Tower Cleanings/Disinfections required by the Department of Health’s (DOH) calendar year (November 1st through October 31st).  One should have been completed at start-up, and the 2nd can be completed anytime before shutdown.  You do NOT need to wait until shutdown to complete the 2nd cleaning. 2 – Routine Maintenance Ensure Routine Maintenance records have been completed twice... Read More »
DOB Service Updates: August
“To accommodate these moves, each unit will be closed for one day, following this schedule: Administrative Enforcement Unit (AEU)  closed Monday, September 10  open Tuesday, September 11 at new location Central Inspections (Boiler and Elevator Units)  closed Tuesday, September 11  open Monday, September 10 at 280 Broadway, 4th Floor  open Wednesday, September 12 at new location Limited Alteration Applications/Permit Renewal & HUB Authentication Unit (LAA)  closed Wednesday, September 12... Read More »
Two MTA employees diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease
“NEW YORK — Two MTA employees have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease, according to a MTA spokesperson. One of the employees, a highway patrol officer, went to a doctor who told him to go to the emergency room after determining his symptoms similar to those caused by Legionnaires’ disease. He was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with the illness on Aug. 8, according to Wayne Joseph, president of the Bridge and Tunnel Officers Benevolent... Read More »
Why Clean your Cooling Tower?
You may be asking yourself “I have a water treatment plan in place, why do I need to clean my Tower?”  There are multiple reasons to perform annual, or semi-annual tower cleanings.  The first being it is mandated by law in some states to maintain compliance.  New York State has made an annual physical tower cleaning mandatory with the regulations adopted in August 2015. Besides legal compliance, another reason is to maintain system efficiency.   As... Read More »
Fatal Washington Heights Legionnaires’ Outbreak Up To 23 Cases
City health officials confirmed additional cases in the Washington Heights Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak. By Brendan Krisel, Patch National Staff | Jul 23, 2018 2:29 pm ET | Updated Jul 24, 2018 3:19 pm ET WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY — More cases of Legionnaires’ Disease have been reported in a fatal outbreak in upper Manhattan, according to reports. The Legionnaires’ cluster has sickened 23 people, killing one, in an area vaguely defined as “lower Washington Heights,” city health officials said. Most of the people... Read More »
NYC Building Service Update
As defined in the 2014 NYC Building Code, Appendix K, Table N1, this applies to:  Elevator Inspection/Test Reports (ELV3) for Category 1, Category 3, and Category 5;  Elevator/Escalator Test Notifications (ELV36) for Category 1 escalators, Category 5 elevators and related devices;  Affirmation of Correction (ELV29) for Category 1 unsatisfactory reports and PVT violations. No paper filings will be accepted after August 31, 2018  By mail: All paper filings submitted to DOB... Read More »
Is Superheating a Potable Water System After Positive Legionella Results Effective?
You’ve just received your Legionella analysis and the results show percent positivity above 30%.  What do you do?  You decide to superheat and flush the system by raising the temperature of the water above 140 degrees (also known as thermal eradication).  How effective is this procedure?  You won’t know until the retest results come back.  You receive the results and they are good, no positives.  The next round of testing approaches, the samples are collected,... Read More »
Microbiological Control in Cooling Towers
From the water treatment industry’s perspective, the practice of controlling the proliferation of microbial fouling in HVAC/Industrial cooling water systems has traditionally been focused on keeping algae, slime and fungus in check.  Without proper control, organisms will colonize, grow, and turn into biomass and biofilm.  Displaced biomass can lead to restrictions in flow, loss of heat transfer and other serious water-borne problems.  In addition, a longer-term challenge is that accumulated bacterial slimes (biofilm) will lead... Read More »
NYC Service Updates
Beginning August 1, 2018, applicants will be required to submit the following documents prior to the issuance of a permit and prior to sign-off for a new building (NB) or major Alteration Type 1 (Alt1) for a location flagged as Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH):  Prior to Permit: a Permit Notice issued by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD);  Prior to Sign-off: a Completion Notice issued by HPD. To learn if your... Read More »
Legionnaires’ Disease Sickens 11 in Upper Manhattan
By Zoe Greenberg July 12, 2018 “An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has sickened 11 people in Upper Manhattan, 10 of whom have been hospitalized, according to city health officials. Eight people remained in the hospital on Thursday. “This disease is very treatable with antibiotics,” Dr. Mary Bassett, the city’s health commissioner, said in a statement. “I encourage anyone with symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease to seek care early.” The city’s Department of Health said it was “actively... Read More »
When Going Green Goes Too Far: Part 2
DECEASED EFFICIENCIES With decreased efficiencies due to scaling, water usage will significantly increase. NOT GREEN. If one were to perform energy studies, the increased load is alarming. More power and utilities…NOT GREEN BACTERIAL CONCERNS One word. Legionella! The dreaded “L word.” Now, legionella can happen in any system with any treatment program. But with a responsible biocide program, the risk is greatly reduced, and better controlled. If someone were to contract legionella from a cooling... Read More »
When Going Green, Goes too Far…
Part 1 Of course, we all want to be as environmentally responsible as we can with our facility cooling systems and treatment programs. I can see the attraction for going chemical free. But can you take it too far?  Is it necessary to go chemical free to be “green?” Chemical free forms of treatment have been around the industry for years. Many of these have not been proven or do not have a steady track... Read More »
Effective August 1, 2018 Gas Test and Gas Finish self-certifications will no longer be allowed for work done in Brooklyn and Staten Island. A physical inspection witnessed by the Department of Buildings will be required. All inspections must be requested using DOB NOW: Inspections. When requesting an inspection select one of the inspection types below:  PL – Up to 3 Requested Floors  PL – Up to 9 Requested Floors  PL – More... Read More »
Precautions taken at Columbus VA clinic after veterans diagnosed with legionnaires  
Posted: Jun 26, 2018 10:19 PM EDT Updated: Jun 26, 2018 11:16 PM EDT COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Major precautions are being taken inside the Columbus VA ambulatory care center right now. Staff closed all water fountains at the outpatient clinic while officials continue to test for Legionella.  This comes after doctors diagnosed two veterans with the legionnaires, but a total of five have the symptoms. According to the CDC legionnaires disease is a serious type of... Read More »
The Importance of Proper Water Treatment in a Cooling Tower
  Here we see the results of a cooling tower left without any water treatment for one year.  Solid sediment had built up so thick that it completely covered the hatch opening!!!  The tower had become incredibly inefficient, and corrosion had begun to take place throughout the structure. As you may know, the main function of a Cooling Tower is to help release heat from a building’s HVAC system, a process that can eventually release... Read More »
Westchester County Local Law #9014-2016
By Luke Wonnell To all our friends in Yonkers, Bronxville, New Rochelle, White Plains, Hartsdale, or any of the other amazing towns in Westchester County still burning No. 6 oil in your boiler – are you aware of Local Law #9014-2016 and did you know you only have until July 31st of this year to switch to a cleaner-burning fuel in your boiler? If you’re one of the buildings that has to switch away from... Read More »
DOB Service Update
Beginning July 20, 2018, the Department’s L2 Form with the revised date of 08/17 in the lower right corner will no longer be accepted. Applicants or property owners must submit the updated L2 Form with the revised date of 06/18 when requesting an override, reduction or waiver of civil penalties for work without a permit. The revised 06/18 L2 form and instructions clarify the eligibility requirements for overrides of civil penalties when submitting No Relationship... Read More »
Legionella found in multiple locations at Wayne State
“By News Services on June 8, 2018 POSTED IN LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE, PUBLIC HEALTH Three campus cooling towers and three bathrooms have tested positive for Legionella bacteria on the Wayne State University campus in Detroit, according to a university communique released this week. Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. The university began conducting tests after an employee who works in the Faculty Administration Building was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease on May 29. The employee, whose age and gender have not been disclosed, has been under... Read More »
Cost Savings with Evaporation Credits
With a growing desire to conserve energy, water and other resources, a commonly overlooked option for cost savings is Cooling Tower Evaporation Credits. With the growing costs of fresh water supply and sanitary service, taking advantage of evaporation credits can provide a cost savings towards plant operations budget. Evaporation is calculated by recording water make-up to the cooling tower, then subtracting water discharge via blow down. The difference is water lost to Evaporation. This allows... Read More »
DOB NYC Building Update
“Effective May 2018, there is a new process in to resolve Energy Code Violations and Notices of Deficiency (NODs). Email as soon as possible after receiving a Violation or Notice of Deficiency for an Energy Code infraction. The email should include the following:  property address in the subject line  the violation # and/or complaint # (body of the email)  the property address (body of the email); and  contact name and... Read More »
Health Dept.: No new Legionnaires’ cases in Co-op City
Posted: May 10, 2018 4:38 PM EDTUpdated: May 10, 2018 9:47 PM ED “CO-OP CITY –Residents of Co-op City’s Building 11, which was at the center of a Legionnaires’ disease scare two weeks ago, met with city health officials in the auditorium on Dreiser Loop Thursday evening. Building 11 is actually three smaller buildings: A, B and C. They’re attached to one another and share a water supply. As News 12 has reported, three people from those... Read More »
Legionella Remediation – Installation of Secondary Disinfection System utilizing Chlorine Dioxide Technology
Metro recently completed the installation of a permanent Secondary Disinfection System (pictured below) utilizing Chlorine Dioxide for a building drinking water system that experienced the persistent presence of the Legionella Bacteria over an extended period of time. Metro employs Chlorine Dioxide as a disinfectant for Legionella Remediation for its ability to penetrate biofilm and get to the source of the problem, something Chlorine and Bromine can’t do.  And as Chlorine Dioxide is generated onsite, no... Read More »
Optimizing Cycles of Concentration
Controlling the scale-forming tendencies of a cooling tower system is based on regulating the level to which minerals are “allowed” to concentrate through evaporation.  Cycles management is one aspect of preventing mineral scale formation on heat exchange surfaces and is carefully coupled to other methods such as: proportionally-dosed application of chemical deposit-control agents, pH control, or even mechanical removal of minerals.  Regulating cycles is accomplished by removing some of the concentrated cooling tower water through... Read More »
Legionnaires’ disease in NYC: What to know
A cluster of Legionnaires’ disease in the Bronx is being investigated by health officials. There are hundreds of cases of Legionnaires’ disease in New York City every year, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said. Photo Credit: Getty Images / iStockphoto / KuLouKu By Nicole  @ncb417Updated April 25, 2018 2:57 PM PRINT SHARE  Legionnaires’ disease sickened three people in the Bronx in the past year, leading to one death, city health officials said. The cluster... Read More »
DOB Service Update
REQUIREMENT: Injuries and Fatalities Must be Reported to Department Within Three Business Days Local Law 78 of 2017 requires the property owner, contractor, subcontractor, or person otherwise in control of a construction site to report specific information about any site incident that resulted in a fatality or injury to a construction worker or member of the public to the Department of Buildings within three (3) business days. Owners and other responsible parties must use the... Read More »
Scary Chart Time: Oil Price Trends
By Luke Wonnell For those of you who are considering an oil-to-gas conversion for your building’s boiler system, let’s take a look at the commodity price for a barrel of crude oil over the past 12 months – that’s right, it’s scary chart time! Source: The current $70+/barrel is 67% higher than mid 2017 when the commodity price was closer to $43/barrel.  Now, let’s see the trends over the past 3 years: Source: Read More »
Troubleshooting Water Softeners
Having problem with your water softener?  Metro can assist your facility in walking you thru a few simple troubleshooting steps. The most common water softener problem is a poor brine draw.  Poor brine draw is typically caused either by a leaking brine draw tube, (flexible tube leading from brine tank to softener head) or a cracked or damaged brine check valve assembly. Item 2 on diagram Brine tanks and valves should be cleaned out every... Read More »
Corrosion Coupon Studies
Understanding metal loss could add years of life to your water system’s components and piping.  While it is common practice in the water treatment industry to measure rates of metal loss using “corrosion coupon studies,” it is amazing how many studies are carried out in error.  Many firms will provide this service to simply ‘check the box’ as a necessary service program task.  However, basic considerations for the study must include: Location of the Rack... Read More »
Lime Scale vs. Hot Water Temperature & Usage
  By Luke Wonnell Lime scale can be a serious menace to domestic hot water systems.  As lime scale builds up in your system, it will restrict flow through piping, it will reduce the operating efficiency of water heaters, and it can most certainly bring your hot water system to its knees if left unchecked.  For every gallon of hot water that is used in a faucet or shower, one gallon of cold water must... Read More »
“Local Law 196 of 2017: Construction Safety Training Local Law 196 of 2017 requires workers and supervisors at certain construction sites receive safety training. Applicability of Training Requirement Construction or demolition workers and supervisors (Site Safety Managers, Site Safety Coordinators, Concrete Safety Managers, Construction Superintendents and competent persons) at job sites that are required to designate a Construction Superintendent, Site Safety Coordinator or Site Safety Manager must be trained. See the chart below for examples... Read More »
In The News: Health Department Investigating 3 Cases Of Legionnaires’ Disease At Co-Op City In The Bronx
  “NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city’s health department says it is investigating three cases of Legionnaires’ disease at Co-op City in the Bronx, including one elderly patient who died. The Health Department said the cases occurred in three connected buildings at the complex within the last 12 months. In a statement, health officials said the three patients who became sick had “conditions that increase the chances of getting Legionnaires’ disease.” Two patients have been released from the... Read More »
On Site Work: Replacing Manhole and Assembly
A manhole is an access hole typically located on the top side of the boiler. It allows access for cleanings, washing out of debris and sediment, or repairs. The manhole should be opened annually, at a minimum, for internal inspection of the vessel. When the cover to the manhole becomes corroded, it becomes both a safety and efficiency concern. If the manhole cover seals shut, the vessel cannot be properly inspected. If the cover seals... Read More »
DOB Service Update
Construction Superintendents: Limit of Ten Jobs “SERVICE UPDATE June 2010 APRIL 2018 Construction Superintendents: Limit of Ten Jobs Effective April 30, 2018, the Department will not issue or renew a permit if the designated Construction Superintendent is already designated on ten (10) or more active permits. Change the Construction Superintendent Renew the permit to change the construction superintendent. The permit cannot be renewed online and must be renewed in a Borough Office. Withdraw the Construction... Read More »
Customer blames fitness club’s negligence for his illness
by Noddy A. Fernandez | Apr. 6, 2018, 1:04pm ORLANDO — An Orlando customer is suing a fitness club, alleging it allowed Legionella bacteria to exist in the water fixtures of its premises. Reinaldo Mariaca filed a complaint March 26, in Orange County Circuit Court against Fitness International, LLC, failure to exercise reasonable care in maintaining premises in a safe condition for the safety of clients. According to the complaint, on May 26, 2017, Mariaca... Read More »
ConEd Multifamily Gas Conversion Incentive Program – Must Apply Before May 18th!
By Luke Wonnell ConEdison has structured a generous incentive program for multifamily buildings still on No. 4 heating oil, but you MUST submit your application BEFORE May 18th in order to qualify!  Click the link below for more information on this program: This program is structured for multifamily buildings with 5-100 units and prioritizes customers who are still burning No. 4 heating oil.  ConEd is offering a $500 per unit incentive (up to maximum... Read More »
Protect your Drain And Sewer Lines from Acidic Attack
With Condensate Drain Line Neutralizers for Condensing Boilers If your building has a high efficiency condensing boiler, hot water heater or furnace, then you have a drain line with acidic condensate that can damage piping and break code! Condensate Neutralizers raise the pH of acidic liquid produced by condensing boilers, furnaces, hot water heaters, direct fired unit heaters and infrared unit heaters.  Condensing boilers produce condensate < 3.2 pH.  Plumbing code typically requires anything going... Read More »
DOB Safety Article
Safety “NEW 2018 Safety Training Requirements As a requirement of a new law, workers on most major construction sites must complete OSHA 10-hour safety training by March 1st, 2018. When fully phased in by 2019, workers at job sites that require a Site Safety Plan (which includes sites that must designate a Construction Superintendent, Site Safety Coordinator or Site Safety Manager) must receive a minimum of 40 hours of training. Information on OSHA 10 Training / Más... Read More »
New Legionnaires’ Cases at Veterans Home
“QUINCY, IL (WGEM/CNN) – Two new cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported at a veterans home where more than a dozen people have died from the disease since 2015. “I have no idea why it’s still happening, because I know they put a whole new water system in out here when the first outbreak came out in 2015,” said Bill Huber, whose father resides in the home. “It’s still frustrating that it’s still happening.”... Read More »
All Legionella Test Results are Not the Same
Legionella testing laboratories will usually express their findings across all Legionella species using available culture methodologies (through ISO or CDC).  In some cases, laboratories are required by regulations to do so.  While on the surface, testing for all species of Legionella would seem to be more protective of public health, evolving information has shown the opposite.  This bears out in the literature to be the statistically and internationally accepted logic.  In September 2017 the World... Read More »
On Site Work
Highland Terrace – Westchester Co. Below we have a new boiler installed with a dual fuel gas/oil burner.  This is a hydronic system.  We installed a Heat-Timer HWR control panel with a 3-way valve to provide precise heating water temp. control to the building.  The heating water temps can be fine tuned to react to outside temps providing very comfortable apt temperatures while significantly reducing fuel consumption. Read More »
Seasonal Change Over of your HVAC systems
Despite the fact that we have just had our fourth Nor’easter in the last three weeks, the time to change you’re HVAC systems from heating to cooling is close at hand. How you perform the winter layup of the heating system or the startup of cooling system can have a dramatic effect on how your equipment will perform when you need these systems to heat or cool. In the case of boilers, this is the... Read More »
Lindy Coils & Hot Water Systems: Part 2
When you’re in the heart of the heating season (October 1st through May 31st) and your boiler’s running anyway to heat the building, it’s an absolute no-brainer to use the Lindy coil and make all your hot water.  This is arguably the most practical and cost-effective way to produce all the hot water for your building during the heating season. However, when you’re outside the heating season, the economics of running your boiler to make... Read More »
Lindy Coils & Hot Water Systems Part 1
By Luke Wonnell If you own a Scotch Marine or cast iron sectional boiler in the NYC metro area, there’s an excellent chance you have one or more Lindy coils installed in the boiler, which provide all the domestic hot water for your entire building on an instantaneous basis.  Depending on the size of your boiler, there are Lindy coils available that can produce up to 10,000 gallons per hour of domestic hot water –... Read More »
Softener Equipment
Sodium zeolite softener systems consist of a softener tank, valving and a means of transporting brine (salt solution) to the softener tank.  The tank includes a service and rinse water inlet distributor, freeboard or the headspace from the top of the resin bed to the top of the vertical wall of the tank, a regenerant distributor, a bed of ion exchange resin and sometimes a supporting medium or outlet distribution system. The inlet assembly is... Read More »
Health Department Finds Cause of Legionnaires Outbreak
“NORTH PORT, FL (WWSB) – According to a report completed by the Florida Department of Health, the growth of legionella bacteria was found in a hot water heater at the fitness area of IslandWalk. Testing was also done on the community swimming pool and spa, but returned negative results.  Despite the negative finding the health department says it believes the pool and spa area are where people came in contact with the bacteria. 13 people... Read More »
DOBNOW Digest Article
“2017 was a big year for DOB NOW. We released nine additional work types in DOB NOW: Build along with boiler and façade filings in DOB NOW: Safety, and received a combined total of 90,000 filings through both systems. Stay tuned for more updates and additional work-type releases in 2018! Recent Enhancements On January 16, new enhancements were rolled out in DOB NOW: Inspections. Construction enhancement: DOB NOW: Inspections now requires the public to upload certain electrical documents prior to requesting Place... Read More »
Boiler Re-tubing: On Site Work
Below are pictures of a recent boiler tube replacement in Brooklyn. During this project we Torched and cut 25 old, corroded bottom boiler tubes (picture 1). Once cut, these tubes are removed from the boiler and the boiler room itself. The boiler vessel and tube drum are then flushed clean. Twenty five new U.S steel boiler tubes are then installed and rolled tight for a proper seal with the front and back tube sheets (picture... Read More »
Softener Operation and Regeneration
Softener Operation A sodium zeolite softener operates through two basis cycles:  the service cycle, which produces soft water, and the regeneration cycle, which restores the exhausted resin to capacity.  During the service cycle, raw water enters the softener through the inlet distributor, flows through the resin bed, is collected by the underdrain system and then transferred to the point of use. When a softener is exhausted, it must be regenerated.  A number of methods may... Read More »
Principles of Zeolite Softening
Principles of Zeolite Softening Sodium zeolite softeners use exchange resins made of polystyrene.  These resins have sodium ions loosely attached and will readily give up sodium for more desirable ions such as calcium and magnesium.  This exchange is only for cations (positively charged ions).  This is why sodium zeolite resin is referred to as a cation exchange resin (Figure 2).   Figure 2 – Sodium zeolite resin gives up sodium ions for calcium and magnesium... Read More »
Softener Application and Ion Exchange
Softener Application The potential for scale and deposit buildup exists in every raw water supply.  The ability of the sodium zeolite softener to reduce this potential effectively and economically makes this an ideal pretreatment for boiler feedwater and many types of chemical process waters.  Compared to other softening methods, sodium zeolite units offer many advantages: The treated water has a very low scaling tendency because this method reduces the hardness level of most water supplies... Read More »
Softener Operation and Troubleshooting
Good water softener operation is often a key factor in efficient boiler system performance.  In its simplest terms, softening is the removal of naturally occurring scale-forming ions that are present in all water irrespective of its source.  Although we take it for granted, the operation of a water softener is really a remarkable phenomenon.  As you can see in the example below – a properly functioning can, in fact, remove thousands of pounds of potentially... Read More »
Cold Crystallization
One of the key objectives of effective cooling water management is to prevent the precipitation of scale-forming minerals onto heat transfer surfaces.  Scaling potential is highest at the hottest metal surfaces, and where the transfer of heat occurs from a process into the cooling water “ across plate/frame or shell and tube exchangers.  However, it is also possible for scaling to occur at the other end of the process where heat is removed.  Since cooling... Read More »
Heat Flux and Boiling Regimes: Part 3
In an ideal world, all the waterside metal surfaces inside your steam boiler would be exactly 86°F / 30°C above the boiling point when the burner is firing. This would result in perfect boiling everywhere throughout your boiler, maximizing the operating efficiency.  While this isn’t fully achievable in the real world, the manufacturer typically designs the boiler for Region I / II operation by providing at least 5 ft2 of heat transfer surface area per... Read More »
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: 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 ( 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 »