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 chemicals have to be mixed or stored, making it a much safer option.

Often times, a one-time Disinfection of a piping system is enough to remediate the presence of Bacteria, but in some instances with persistent issues, the permanent installation must be considered.

For more information, please get in touch and we will connect you with your local Metro Consultant.


For more information on Legionella and Industry Regulations and guidelines, click here.

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 bleed-off and allowing it to be diluted with fresh “make-up” water while heat is rejected through evaporation.  The amount of bleed-off required is based on calculating the allowable cycles of concentration, derived from the saturation limits of the most insoluble dissolved species. Control of cooling water bleed-off is normally done by continuously measuring conductivity of the cooling tower water and tripping a blowdown solenoid or motorized ball valve when a pre-programmed trip point is reached.  Make-up water meters with electric contact heads can also be used to regulate bleed-off volumetrically (together with time and flow-rate) to fix necessary cycles of concentration.

 Managing cycles and deriving the setpoint at which bleed-off occurs is a very important, balanced consideration.  If the set point is too high, minerals will precipitate, and energy costs will rise.  If too low, the precious resources water and treatment chemicals are wasted through unnecessary blow-down.  So, it is essential that your treatment program be professionally designed, and that the potential obstacles to uninterrupted operation are eliminated.  Your Metro water treatment consultant will establish permissible limits of cycles of concentration based on information derived from your facility, including a comprehensive analysis of the local water supply. 

Image result for cooling tower

Written by:

John D. Caloritis, CWT

Technology Director

The Metro Group, Inc.

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

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

Legionnaires’ disease sickened three people in the Bronx in the past year, leading to one death, city health officials said.

The cluster occurred in three buildings that share a water system in Co-op City, which is in the northeastern section of the Bronx. The water supply is being investigated by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Two of the three people who got the disease were hospitalized and released, while one, who the DOH described as elderly, died.

There are between 350 and 450 cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the city every year, according to the DOH.

Here’s what you need to know about the disease:

What is Legionnaires’ disease and how do you get it?

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia that is caused by the Legionella bacteria.

The Legionella bacteria is found naturally in freshwater environments, such as lakes and streams, but when it grows in human-made water systems, like cooling towers, hot water tanks, showers and faucets, it can be a health concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.


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 year, as salt always contains some amount of foreign material, plugging valves and interfering with brine draw.

If indeed the softener is drawing brine well, then an elution study and/or a resin analysis may be necessary.

Brine Tank

Contact your local Metro representative for more details!

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:

  1. Location of the Rack and Installation Practices
  2. Selection of Metals & Materials
  3. Coupon Placement and Orientation
  4. Temperature and Flow Characteristics
  5. Water Quality Considerations
  6. Interpretation of Results

Done correctly, a corrosion study can confirm that your system is well protected.  More importantly a good study can point out potential problems, even providing information that allows the Facility Manager to change course if necessary.  So, don’t settle for anything less than a technically-sound study, completed by a Water Treatment professional who has carefully considered these criteria and has answered your questions with competence.  Please reach out to your local Metro representative for more information on the six points mentioned above.

Written by:

John D. Caloritis, CWT

Technology Director

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 enter the system.  This cold water has a certain hardness, which defines the amount of minerals like Calcium entrapped in the water and is expressed as “Grains per Gallon” (gpg).  The higher the gpg, the harder your water.

The image below shows lime scale (Calcium Carbonate CaCO3) under a microscope… notice the jagged, crystalline structure.  Once lime scale starts to form in your system, it’s like a domino-effect, it tends to continue building on itself as shown in the cross-section image of the piping below – yikes!

Fortunately, our friends over at the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) compiled an amazing chart which shows the effects of increasing water usage and water temperature on the amount of lime scale that is deposited in your hot water system every year and is based on water hardness of 10 grains per gallon – see below:

Source: https://www.aspe.org/sites/default/files/webfm/ContinuingEd/CEU_220_February15.pdf

As you move along the horizontal x-axis, this shows the daily water usage for a particular building.  Now, as you move up along the different diagonal lines, these represent the temperature of the water circulating through the building.  When you’re at or below 140⁰F, you’re in the safe zone (green) where you have a manageable and treatable amount of lime scale (<30 lbs.) deposited each year.

Once you reach 150⁰F (yellow), you’ll notice there’s an exponential increase in the amount of lime scale for every 10⁰F increase in the water temperature.  For 99% of multi-family buildings, there’s no good reason why you ever need to produce hot water above 140⁰F.  If you find yourself having to crank up your water heater to 160⁰F to make sure your residents get enough hot water, there’s a good chance your domestic water piping is scaling up, which makes it more difficult for the hot water from the heater to flow to the resident’s faucets or showers.

Try to keep your water temperature below 150⁰F to minimize the amount of annual scale buildup in your system.  Contact your Account Manager today to learn about all the solutions The Metro Group can offer for cleaning and de-scaling your domestic hot water system!




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 hospital, according to the department.

Health officials say they will be sampling the internal plumbing of the building to assess the potential sources of the disease. They say the complex does not have a cooling tower.

“Residents of this building who are over 50 or have underlying medical conditions should avoid showering until the investigation is completed,” the Health Department said, adding that tap water in the building is safe to drink.

Legionnaires’ disease is caused by breathing in water vapor containing the bacteria. It is not contagious and is treatable with antibiotics.

“(Residents) can reduce their risk by seeking care early,” Health Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett said. “It’s a very treatable infection but very often people delay care seeking.”

Symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion and diarrhea, officials said. Symptoms typically appear two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella bacteria.

“As always, adults with flu-like symptoms, fever, cough, or difficulty breathing should seek immediate medical attention,” the Health Department said. “Legionella testing should be considered by clinicians based on history, symptoms, and other findings.”

The city started regular, mandatory inspections of cooling systems after a deadly Legionnaires’ outbreak in the South Bronx where 12 people died.”



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 was lawfully upon the premises of defendant’s LA Fitness club in Orlando. Mariaca says he contracted legionella pneumonia after utilizing the showers, water fountains, spas, pools and water fixtures within the club.

As a result, Mariaca say he suffered has bodily injury, loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life, and the expense of hospitalization, medical and nursing care and treatment.

The plaintiff alleges Fitness International failed to adequately inspect the showers, water fountains, spas, pools and water fixtures on the premises to determine whether the Legionella existed before guests utilized the premises.

Mariaca seeks trial by jury, damages in excess of $15,000, plus interest and court costs. He is represented by attorney Lawrence Gonzalez II of Morgan & Morgan PA in Orlando.


Source: https://flarecord.com/stories/511384266-customer-blames-fitness-club-s-negligence-for-his-illness

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 down the drain to have a pH of 5.5 – 8.5.

Acidic condensate can also lead to costly damage to drain pipe and covers.  To stay within code and prevent damage, the pH must be monitored and the Neutralizer serviced at least annually, per the manufacturers recommendation.  Since we’re already in your boiler room, Metro can add Neutralizer service to your existing contract.  Service includes periodic testing of pH and annual media change.

Most Neutralizers utilize Limestone Chips as the neutralizing agent.  These chips have limited effectiveness over time as the condensate tends to channel thru the media, limiting surface area contact time.  Metro uses Magnesium Oxide pellets in place of Limestone.  These pellets are a more effective neutralizing media as they uniformly dissolve and have more consistent surface, allowing for greater contact time, thereby increasing their ability to raise pH.

All condensate neutralizers should have been installed with unions on each side of the unit, allowing for media change.  If unions are not present, the unit has never been serviced.  Metro can add the unions and re-pipe to allow for service to take place.  The size of the Neutralizer required is related to the BTU rating of the boiler.  For multiple boilers with drain lines piped to a common neutralizer, add the BTU rating from each boiler.




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.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health said two residents showed signs of pneumonia on Feb. 8. That’s when tests were sent to a local hospital.

When those tests came back negative, different tests were done at a state lab. Those tests confirmed Legionnaires’ disease.

“Look, the capital development board should be brought in,” said Illinois state Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park. “There’s 15 million dollars of federal funds that could be utilized, and the governor should come to us to appropriate whatever else is needed to get the problem fixed, but he’s not doing that.”

With Legionella bacteria known to grow in summer months, Cullerton said it’s concerning to see it pop up in the winter.

“If it’s coming up in the dead of cold when it’s not supposed to, how quickly once that thaw hits, is it really going to start affecting the entire institution?” Cullerton said.

State Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, said these new cases will speed up the process for lawmakers to come up with a plan.

“We’re looking at the option to retrofit new piping from the new water treatment facility there, so all of it is being discussed,” Tracy said.

Bill Huber’s father suffers from Alzheimer’s and has been at the home for nearly a year. Huber wishes the state could solve the situation, but he’s glad to see local staff working hard.

“They check it every hour of every day, so they’re doing everything they can to keep the residents safe,” Huber said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said engineers are scouring the home, looking for the presence of more Legionella bacteria. They also have put measures in place to protect residents and staff.”


Sources: http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/national/new-legionnaires-cases-at-veterans-home/article_f37f514e-9fd6-5630-b9c5-8f45a2d05236.html