Air and dirt are big-time attackers of closed-loop HVAC systems. Heating and cooling your system water can be more difficult with air and dirt causing problems and impeding the flow. Figuring out that your system is contaminated isn't too difficult, especially considering that few (if any) are 100% closed. One indication of a problem is noise in your pipes, terminal units and other equipment. Inadequate flow can cause problems like cavitation. You may hear moans, hammering sounds or even a high-pitch resonance. Increased operating costs could become problematic with a reduced ability to transfer energy. Systems with air and dirt contamination face corrosion and flow restriction and blockage. That's a problem.
School environments are a critical part of student learning. Some studies show that classroom temperatures do potentially influence student test performance and memory ability. Additionally, high levels of humidity can lower concentration and increase sleepiness. High lead levels in drinking water can have serious consequences for children. Prolonged exposure to lead can cause neurological problems, heart disease, kidney disease and reduced fertility. Poor school building conditions have even been associated with student absenteeism. It’s no wonder that school systems in the Carolinas are putting extensive resources into the acquisition, maintenance and repair of water, HVAC and plumbing systems.
Clean water is a big issue today for building owners and design engineers all over the world. Fortunately, commercial buildings now have options to remove bacteria, lead and more from their water via point-of-use and point-of-entry filtration systems. One option doesn't rely on chemicals to kill viruses and bacteria but rather uses advanced electroadsorptive technology to remove dangerous products from your water.
Is there anything that the engineers could have done to prevent the crisis? How can we learn from the Flint issue and avert a similar crisis here in our Carolina cities?