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Urgent Change in New York City Domestic Water

Jan 10, 2019 | News

On or about June 15, 2018, the New York DEP, in conjunction with the New York City Bureau of Water has turned on emergency wells as well as opened a water main from the Croton Reservoir to add to the New York City Water supply. This last time this occurred was in June 2016 and lasted for approximately six months.

Prior to this date, New York City was being fed by the northern reservoirs such as the Catskill which is mostly made up of softer mountain runoff. This new city water is a combination of the soft water with the inclusion of harder ground water.

What does this mean for your property?

1. The following characteristics may change:

  • Smell, odor
  • Taste
  • Feel
  • Color (brown water condition)

2. Water consumption increases due to HVAC equipment needs. Buildings with cooling towers or boilers will experience the following:

  • Cooling Towers – Used to operate 8-12 cycles*. (*How many times they reused the water until it was necessary to bleed.) Now they will operate 3.5-5 cycles. This is an increase of about 50-60% water consumption.
  • Steam Boilers – (using less than 95% return) These will use more water, proportionally, to the amount of condensate returning. Water softeners will need to be considered and if they already exist will need to be set to regenerate more often.

3. Water treatment – Cycles of Concentration will be greatly reduced. This will cause the usage of significantly more water make-up and Inhibitor Chemical that is not included in your contract. Conductivity limits will need to be set higher due to increased incoming conductivity, chlorides and hardness.

4. Domestic Water Filters – may need to be changed on a more frequent basis.

5. Reverse Osmosis Systems – These systems will need cleaning, filtering and membrane changes more frequently.

6. Water Softeners – These systems will need to be re-adjusted and recalculated due to the loading which is now about 5 times greater than it previously was. This will require five times the amount of salt for regeneration.

7. Glycol Systems – In the past, because of the extremely soft water conditions, we were able to mix 95% glycol down with NYC water. Now it will be necessary to consult with the glycol manufacturer before mixing or may require deionized water for make down.

8. Cooling tower Legionella Water management plans – Will need adjustment to account for higher conductivities and increased weekly chemical usage amount and dosages.

What should I do?

  • Verify that you do, in fact, have this condition. To do this, check your city water for elevated conductivity with your on-site meter
  • Normal Conductivity = 85-140 microSiemens
  • Elevated Conductivity= >150 microSiemens *
  • * Call your Tower Water Account Manager if an elevated condition is found.
  • Your Tower Water technical account manager should be testing your incoming water every visit.
  • Discuss the recommended course of action with your Tower Water person.
  • Plan to increase your budget due the increase in usage of water, chemicals, supplies, equipment etc.

Is this a permanent condition?

It is unclear how long it will last. The DEP reservoirs are not at or below normal condition (93.0%) at present. There is work being done on several water mains at this time. They have been working on this transmission main system for years.

As a company, Tower Water takes the approach that it is here to stay until we test otherwise. We will always do what is technically correct to provide the best protection to your HVAC systems while maintaining a competitive price.

If you have any further questions for concerns on your water treatment, please do not hesitate to contact Tower Water at 732-249-0990 or email  Russell@towerwater.com.

If you have any further questions for the Department of Water, it is in reference to well water, it is referred to as the “In-City Resiliency Water Project” please contact 718-595-7000 or 311. See links below.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/drinking_water/groundwater07.shtml

https://www1.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/reviews/in-city-water-supply-resiliency/in-city-water-resiliency- fsow.pdf

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