By John Caloritis
Technical Director at Metro Group
Certified Water Technologist and Board of Directors, Association of Water Technologies
What is Green Chemistry?
The products and services supplied by the water treatment industry can have a significant impact on energy demand, use, and conservation. While we recognize the key benefits of functioning as a Green provider, we also note that the current descriptions do not define explicitly what this means for us. This allows for creativity in finding products, programs and services which can help our clients meet the global requirements of improved resource utilization. It also unfortunately means that many suppliers are trying to fill the vacuum by defining Green in ways that tend to serve their own marketing purposes, and not necessarily those which may be in the public’s best interest. This understanding necessitates we document our current position as a company.
The platform for operating buildings in ways which support the Green initiative is defined in large part by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council)’s LEED® movement. What is LEED®? The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria.
The LEED program offers credits to those qualifying buildings via a selective rating system when facility design, along with operation and maintenance, is aimed at energy conservation and effective resource utilization. For the water treatment industry, two credits may be achieved towards Green status for a) Chemical Management and b) Using Non-Potable water as a makeup source. The specific language of LEED is as follows:
“Work with a water treatment specialist to develop a water management strategy addressing the appropriate chemical treatment and bleed-off to ensure proper concentration levels in the cooling tower. Also, develop a biocide treatment program to avoid biological contamination and the risk of Legionella in the building. Identify non-potable water sources that may be suitable for use in cooling tower makeup water. Ensure that the water meets the cooling tower manufacturer’s guidelines in terms of water purity and adjust the chemical treatment program accordingly.”
What is Metro Group’s Green Position?
Review of this LEED® statement leaves one with the distinct recognition that our programs are already doing much of what is considered to be standard operating practice by LEED. At a fundamental level, Metro Group’s treatment programs are aimed at –
- Energy Conservation – deposit-free surfaces in boilers, chillers and heat exchange apparatus allow for effective heat transfer and low electric or hydrocarbon energy demand. So Clean is Green.
- Water Conservation – our people are trained to select programs which maximize cycles of concentration, minimize bleed-off and save water.
- Resource Utilization – this means that building personnel are performing their jobs effectively. As a partner in treatment program administration, the Metro OMNISERVE programs help clients to operate safe, efficient, mistake-free programs. Our work allows them to focus on energy conservation.
However, there is a difference and we can offer more. Metro Group’s treatment programs have become more responsive and more responsible. We have produced a quality, cost-effective treatment line of Super Concentrated liquids and launched the Metro SOLID CHEMISTRY program. Whether SUPERVISORY or OMNISERVE these programs are making real differences for customers trying to be Green. Our treatment programs –
- Reduce Transportation Costs – by shipping/delivering more active chemicals (and little or zero water) to customer facilities, we measurably reduce fuel.
- Reduce Chemical Demand – through targeted product selection, Metro programs use the least amount of treatments to meet the intended result and use less treatment chemical. This reduces the energy and resources demanded.
- Reduce Storage and Handling – by providing treatments in new concentrated forms, either operating personnel are carrying 12 lb. jars (instead of storing/moving/transferring drums of liquid) or Metro service teams are applying programs for them. This creates a safer, neater internal building environment.
If It’s Chemical Free – It Just Can’t Be
Finally, there are a number of manufacturers still touting and providing chemical-free solutions to waterside cleanliness. Most are pieces of equipment using magnets, electro-magnetic radiation, sonar, UV light or other non-chemical means to treat water for corrosion, scale and microbial control. On a foundation of science, we maintain our position that none can become a universal substitute for the proven science of water treatment. Their operation almost always supports only one small portion of the comprehensive objective of water treatment. Please contact your Technical Department for any support you require in reviewing competitive approaches.
Questions about making your Water Treatment Management Plan Green? Ask your Metro Account Manager
Do you have more questions about ways to make your building’s water treatment strategy Green? Please let us know by filling out our contact form and we’ll get back to you!
Ready to start planning your Green Water Treatment Management Plan? Metro Group offers fully turn-key Water Management Plans and is committed to keeping residents safe using the most advanced Green chemical treatment programs and equipment. Contact us for a FREE quote!