As an engineering manager, I have a responsibility to maintain a high level of quality in our “product.” But it’s my opinion that consulting engineers don’t really have a product. You might counter with — drawings and specifications are our product, are they not? Yes and no. Allow me to explain.
My last two columns discussed both chemical and non-chemical additives or technologies that I treat as “must consider” for plumbing engineers in their design practices to reduce the risk of Legionella bacteria developing in the domestic water system. As I mentioned, these topics might not be a code minimum requirement, but as an engineering community, we have a responsibility to uphold the health and safety of the public. Therefore, we should discuss these technologies with our clients for many different building types we come across in our design.
In my January column, I began a series focused on chemical and non-chemical additives or technologies that I treat as “must consider” for plumbing engineers in their design practices to reduce the risk of legionella bacteria developing in the domestic water system.
Many of the topics I have discussed in my column to this point have been about temperature considerations within the supply and return system based on recommendations in the community and right-sizing domestic water piping to reduce the overall volume of water in the building’s piping system.
There is a battle going on in the industry when it comes to domestic water distribution systems, and it lies in how plumbing engineers size domestic water piping. System longevity, pressure drop, water age, noise and building codes will influence the approach taken in sizing a domestic water system.
There has been a lot of discussion and new guidance documentation about Legionella in building water systems and the implementation of water management programs (WMP) for ongoing operations. This has led to discussions about plumbing engineering best practices to allow the building water distribution system (BWDS) to operate efficiently and safely when the building is occupied.
In my January 2022 column, I made a broad call for improved water intelligence to offer improved building occupant health. This is nothing new to the HVAC industry, with system monitoring and control extending far beyond the mechanical room and into the most remote areas of the building
Fresh water is an undeniably valuable and essential natural resource. But are plumbing engineers unintentionally putting building occupants are risk by implementing water conservation guidelines and equipment? What are the unseen consequences of water conservation?