Recent events in New York City have once again brought Legionnaires Disease onto the radar for many facilities throughout the Northeast. The latest Legionellosis outbreak reported in NYC has been allegedly linked back to an infected cooling tower in the Bronx. It has been reported that the facility in question is now under the watchful eye of the New York City Health Department. Legionella in a cooling tower is a serious issue because of how a cooling tower operates; not only does the bacteria thrive in an under-treated environment, but the the tower mechanism itself acts as the perfect way to dispurse the bacteria in water droplets into the atmosphere. As you can imagine, attorneys have already threatened to bring suit, and facility managers across the New Your City are re-thinking their protocols for dealing with legionella. Many building owners are trying to figure out if they have the best water treatment company in New York working for them. There is a very good chance that there were steps that could have been followed that would have prevented this unfortunate event; and if the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) get their way, there soon will be.
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Would the owners of your company be happy if you took $50,000 of their money and set it on fire? I know it seems like a silly question – because of course they would! Yet every day, in thousands of facilities across the United States, failing steam traps go unchecked and the dollars in lost energy just pile up. Failing steam traps are a major cause of energy loss in a steam system and can easily equate to serious dollars going right down the drain. Think about it this way: Let’s assume, for the purpose of this example, that it costs $5 to produce every 1000 pounds of steam at 100 psi (depending on your system’s efficiency it could be much more) and that, at 100 psi, just one failed steam trap could potentially allow over 800,000 pounds of steam to escape your system every month. That means that every month your facility could be losing over $4000 in energy! One failed steam trap could quickly equate to over $50k per year right out the window.
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