Sonitec-Vortisand Case Study: New Orleans Regional Medical Center (NORMC) District Energy Center

Vortisand® cross-flow microsand filter shows Return On Investment of less than 12 months and keeps heat exchangers clean for district cooling center in New Orleans, LA.

Bond Water Technologies  Vortisand® cross-flow microsand filter

Click here to read the entire case study.

The Project

Enwave USA (formerly Entergy Thermal) located in New Orleans, LA, completed the design-build of a new District Energy Center in New Orleans to provide services to the New Orleans Regional Medical Center (NORMC) and other clients.

The facility provides more than 33,000 tons of chilled water and air conditioning to more than 12 million square feet of commercial property that encompasses 15 square city blocks.

Post Katrina

In 2009, hurricane Katrina flooded the entire city which led to elevated Total Suspended Solids (TSS) levels in all their cooling water systems. Jeff Davis, Director Plant Operations for Enwave USA attended the IDEA Expo in Washington DC looking for solutions to improve his bulk chilled water quality in the aftermath of considerable damage caused by flooding. Mr. Davis visited the Sonitec-Vortisand booth and met with Regional Manager, Keith Karl.

The Challenge

Jeff discussed the challenges they were having with poor water quality negatively impacting the performance of their large thermal chilled water supply. They had tried traditional media filters and they did not succeed in reducing the level of TSS.

It was determined the best solution to clean up this large volume chilled water loop, while keeping within a tight budget, would require a 300 gpm Vortisand® cross-flow microsand filter that provided submicron filtration and high quality water.

The Vortisand® system replaced a traditional sand filter that claimed 5 micron capability. A standard laser particle distribution analysis illustrated that 80% of the TSS were less than 5 micron in size.

The new Vortisand® unit was installed in early 2010 and after several months of operation proved to be a wise investment for them. Proof that a quality submicron filtration system coupled with a comprehensive chemical treatment program was the key to reducing TSS levels.


During a recent site visit in April 2014, Jeff Davis stated he has never seen the chilled water this clean since the start-up of the facility in 2000. The TSS issues that previously plagued the entire system never returned. Previously, their 15 heat exchangers had to be cleaned several times per year due to the increased biofilm caused by the suspended solids. “These heat exchangers have not had to be cleaned since the Vortisand® was installed in 2010”, said Davis.Maintaining their design efficiency has improved the bottom line every year with a Return On Investment of less than 12 months.

To learn how Vortisand® cross-flow microsand filters kept the NORMC District Energy heat exchangers clean and reduced maintenance costs read more.

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Spring Cleaning in the Region’s Drinking Water System

Press Release from District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority

DC photo_companyMar 11, 2014 — From March 17 through April 28, 2014, the disinfectant in drinking water will temporarily switch from chloramine to chlorine.

The annual switch in water disinfection is part of a routine program to clean and maintain drinking water systems in the District of Columbia, Arlington County and the northeastern portion of Fairfax County.

During the temporary switch to chlorine, local water authorities will also conduct system-wide flushing to enhance water quality. This program is a common practice for many U.S. water systems that use chloramine during the majority of the year.

The Washington Aqueduct is the organization responsible for treating and disinfecting drinking water for its wholesale customers: DC Water, Arlington County, and Fairfax Water. Local water authorities are responsible for monitoring drinking water to ensure chlorine levels continue to meet safe target levels.

Individuals and business owners who take special precautions to remove chloramine from tap water, such as dialysis centers, medical facilities and Continue reading


Boiler System – Tips on a chemical program for your boiler system

Most boiler systems today burn natural gas as the primary fuel.  Many systems are also set up to burn an alternate fuel if the natural gas supply is curtailed or cut off.  In most cases, the alternate fuel is No. 2 fuel oil, a light distillate that is the same as diesel fuel.

Some industrial and utility boilers may use No. 6 oil as the alternate fuel.  No. 6 is a heavy residual oil that must be heated to approximately 150oF to be easily pumped.  If No. 6 oil were fed to a boiler that was set up to burn No. 2, the burner would not burn the fuel efficiently, and the unit’s combustion efficiency would decrease.  No. 6 oil is not a good “fit” for a boiler set up to burn no. 2.

Just as the type and quality of the fuel affects a boiler system combustion efficiency, the type and quality of the water treatment chemical program has an impact on the overall efficiency of the boiler system.  If the chemical treatment program is not a good fit for the  system, overall efficiency can be reduced, with a corresponding increase in operational costs.  In today’s uncertain economic environment, this can put a company or facility at a competitive disadvantage, even threatening its very survival. Continue reading

Cooling System Lay-Up

Make Certain Your Cooling System is Protected During Lay-Up

It’s time to shut your cooling system down for the winter.  Don’t let all your hard work keeping the system running smoothly go to waste – follow these guidelines to assure that your system stays protected all winter long and is ready for a trouble-free start-up next spring.

Click here for detailed information on how to protect your system during lay-up.

Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease

In July our Legionella risk assessment partner, Environmental Safety Technologies, reported…“We have seen an increase in the prevalence of Legionella colonization throughout the United States.  We are seeing a greater percentage of Legionella positive cultures and identifying more high risk sites than in our 20 year history.”

On August 28, 2012 MyHealthNewsDaily reported:  “Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported by health officials in two major cities this summer: Eight people have died and 107 have been confirmed infected in an outbreak that began in mid-July in Quebec, and eight infections, including two deaths, occurred among the guests at a hotel in Chicago. The Chicago outbreak was announced Monday.

In Quebec, where the average of those who have died is 79, the outbreak’s source is believed to be water cooling towers. Towers are being inspected and disinfected with bromine, according to Canadian media reports.”

In Chicago the article states…”health officials said. Details about the deaths have not been released. There is no ongoing health risk to hotel guests, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health, although more cases may yet be reported because symptoms of the disease can occur several weeks after exposure.”

This is part of the article. The full article takes a look at what you need to know about Legionnaires’ disease:  CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWSLETTER

Cooling Tower Refurbishing vs. The Cost of Cooling Tower Replacement

Cooling Tower Replacement can be a costly proposition and the average life expectancy of a commercial cooling tower, according to most manufacturers, is 15 – 20 years, before they need to be rebuilt or replaced. Many cooling towers were installed in 1980’s and are 30 years old now. If the integrity of the tower’s metal sump, sidewalls and distribution pans are relatively sound, but the fiberglass fill has deteriorated to the point where it needs to be replaced, there are many dollars ($) that can  be saved versus the cost of replacement.

In a cooling tower fill media replacement, we completely remove the fill from each tower cell, angle grind and metal patch all metal surfaces, seal the seams, and re-coat  internal, wetted surfaces with a two part epoxy coating, –  Belzona Immersion Grade. Once the towers are refurbished you can expect another 15 -20 years of useful life expectancy at a fraction of the cost of replacing them with new towers.

An example of the dollar savings expected for refurbishing a tower vs. replacement is when Bond Water Technologies completely refurbished four (4) 200 ton cooling towers (800 tons total) at a cost of approx. $80,000.00 vs. the cost of new towers quoted at $100,000.00, plus installation costs. If you elect to buy new towers vs. rebuilding the existing ones, you also need to consider budgeting in the cost of a construction crane to lift them to the roof, after normal working hours or on a weekend, which would cost approx. $12,000 to $15,000 per day, plus the labor cost of the mechanical contractors installation, so you’re now looking at $200,000+ for this one example. We can verify these costs from actual proposals done compared to a new tower replacement cost quote.

Watch the short video on Refurbishing vs Cooling Tower Replacement and then click on the buttons to the right to ask questions or schedule a free consultation on the advantages of refurbishing.

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Over the past 12 years we have completely refurbished  many cooling towers in the MD/VA/DC area by dissembling them, re-coating and replacing the fill with “honeycomb” media,, which is more effective in the cooling process vs. vertical hung fill in most of the older towers. It also adds another 15 years of life expectancy to these older towers, and offers the additional benefit of making the towers easier to clean. Please link to and click on the Services tab on the top bar and scroll down to Cooling Tower Cleaning and Re-Coating tabs to find more details about this service.

Rebuilding is particularly attractive if you have already invested in mechanical repairs, such as shafts, bearings, blower wheels, etc.

For additional information on this and other subjects related to Cooling Tower or Boiler Water treatment, please contact your local Bond Water Technologies Representative @ 301-721-2663 for details. You can also fill out the form below and we will follow up with you shortly.

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Video of a Cooling Tower Refurbishing Project

Photos from a Cooling Tower Refurbishing Project

Click Here To Read More About Bond Water Technologies Cooling Water Services

On-going education and the impact it has on your facility

We believe there are two educational areas that are critical seminarto the success any water treatment program. First, it is critical that your water treatment representative understand your specific program needs and that he participates in ongoing education and training. Second, and often overlooked, is client education. Your water treatment company should make sure that you and your staff understand the basic chemistry behind your water treatment program.

We believe that client education and ongoing Bond representative training are Continue reading

Have Questions? Need Help? Please Fill Out The Form Below & We Will Get Back With You Shortly. You Can Also Call Us At 301-721-BOND

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Bond may be able to save you enough money through our Green Water Treatment Programs to pay for your entire water treatment program!

Input your usage numbers into the easy-to-use interactive calculators below, and see how we can save you thousands of dollars through water and energy conservation. It's simple, and it only takes a minute to see how Bond can save you money. We're helping hundreds of clients; see how we can help you!