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Case Studies - Proven on the Frontlines

Geothermal Heating at Solaire Apartments

Geothermal Heating at Solaire Apartments

TRITON™ Pipe Fusion System Trims Costs & Labor

  • Industry: Residential
  • Category: Geothermal heating
  • Location: Brighton, CO
  • Installation: TRITON™

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CUSTOMER: SMC Geothermal.
SCOPE: Geothermal heating & cooling system for 252-unit, 12-building apartment complex.
CHALLENGE: Reduce project and labor costs to submit competitive bid.
SOLUTION: TRITON™ Pipe Fusion System.
RESULTS: Saved approximately $1,000 per mechanical room.

One of Colorado’s largest geothermal projects is tapping the next generation in plastic pipe fusing to trim significant costs from its winning bid. Solaire Apartments, in Brighton, Colorado, will be heated and cooled entirely by ground-source heat pumps.

SMC Geothermal, the company that designed and installed the complex’s geothermal system, submitted a bid that was $2.5 million under the competition. Conald Frank, owner of SMC, trimmed costs by re-designing the system from one large community loop to 23 individual loops. But to come in $2.5 million under the competition took more than a redesign. Frank used a new pipe fusing method, the TRITON™ Pipe Fusion system, to save countless hours of labor and create a safer work environment.

The 3-person firm knew they’d have their hands full fusing HDPE distribution pipe inside the building. And because the 2-inch lines need to share space with ductwork, electrical, and plumbing lines, the space was limited. "The TRITON™ system not only takes a huge physical strain off the installer, but one guy can fuse by himself," says Frank. "Usually, it takes two people; one to hold the pipe while another holds the iron. TRITON also eliminates the risk of burns, which is a reality for anyone fusing pipes with an iron."

The ability to dry-fit before fusing makes it much easier to work in and around joist bays. TRITON™ really shines in mechanical rooms, where the majority of the fittings are located. "I’d say that the TRITON™ system saved me roughly $1,000 per mechanical room," says Frank.

Laguna Pueblo Reservation

Watts’ Valves Secure Desert Water Supply

  • Industry: Government
  • Category: Flow Control
  • Location: Albuquerque, NM
  • Installation: Altitude Control Valves

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CUSTOMER: Indian Health Services + Laguna Reservation.
SCOPE: Solution needed to handle the high-altitude water pressure in 98 miles of water line pipes.
CHALLENGE: Some of the pipes are old, galvanized and rusted to the point that even pressure surges in the system can cause ruptures without being noticed for lengths of time.
SOLUTION: Watts tank fill altitude control valves with delayed-opening functions and upstream pressure sustaining options.
RESULTS: Prevented overtopping of tanks and the wasting of water, as well as prevent un-checked flow from the high tank to lower tanks in the even of a major water break.

With a population close to 8,000, the Laguna Pueblo – stretching across a large area 45 miles west of Albuquerque – is one of the largest pueblo groups. The six villages in Laguna are connected together by 98 miles of water distribution lines.

Over the years, and with growing frequency, water lines were replaced on an as-needed basis though some are still old galvanized pipes that have rusted to the point that even pressure surges in the system can cause ruptures.

Three new water tanks were installed to provide storage capacity in closer proximity to actual demand, and create pressure zones to better match the varying elevations throughout the system.

Watts tank fill altitude control valves with upstream pressure sustaining options were installed at two of the three holding tanks. Acting as tourniquets, they not only prevent overtopping of the tanks and wasting of water, but the upstream pressure sustaining feature was chosen to prevent un-checked flow from the high tank to lower tanks in the event of a major water break.

Cartwright Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

OneFlow® Solves Multiple Water Woes

  • Industry: Residential
  • Category: Water Quality
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
  • Installation: OneFlow

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CUSTOMER: Residential customers in the Santa Fe area.
SCOPE: Reduce scale due to water hardness level for domestic supply including water heaters and rooftop swamp cooler.
CHALLENGE: Improve water quality throughout the homes they serve to eliminate ongoing problems with scaling of cooling system’s hydration pads.
SOLUTION: Watts OneFlow® anti-scale systems
RESULTS: After OneFlow® installation two years ago, the pads have remained in perfect working order.

Some of the world’s most radical temperature changes occur in northern New Mexico. Most homes there are equipped with an evaporative or “swamp” cooler, an energy-wise approach to home cooling in arid regions. The problem: the equipment is not fond of scale.

This adobe home gets water from the ground with 8 grains of hardness/gallon. The owners spent $300/month replacing calcium-clogged swamp cooler pads. Mario Larranaga, Sr. Technician at Cartwright Plumbing, Heating and Cooling based in Santa Fe said, “Even with substantial water softening, the pads would get so covered in scale that the fan wouldn’t even blow air through the media.”

Larranaga tried different salts, and even a different softener, but the systems kept scaling up. Solution: Cartwright’s turned to Watts’ OneFlow® anti-scale systems. “We like OneFlow® because it doesn’t add chemicals to the ground water, and isn’t carcinogenic,” said Laranaga.

It’s been two years since the swap-out, and the pads haven’t been changed once.

Fort Sill United States Army Base

OneFlow® Goes to War with Ultra-Hard Water

  • Industry: Government
  • Category: Water Quality
  • Location: Lawton, OK
  • Installation: OneFlow Model Model # OF1665-75 x12

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CUSTOMER: Fort Sill United States Army Base.
SCOPE: Eliminate use of chemical additives, reduce water discharge and wastewater and use a salt-free system if possible.
CHALLENGE: Water at Ft. Sill measures 27 grains of hardness per gallon. Each of the barracks experience domestic water use spikes up to 632 GPM.
SOLUTION: Watts OneFlow® Anti-Scale Systems, Model #OF1665-75 x 12.
RESULTS: Treatment a success; zero water discharge + no salt expense.

In the 1970s, Initial Entry Training (IET) “starship barracks,” were constructed on Army bases nation-wide, including Fort Sill. The facilities acquired the nickname because they’re completely self-contained with living quarters, classrooms, mess halls and latrines all under one, star-shaped roof. Many of the starship barracks are being renovated, chiefly to reduce energy consumption. Each barracks holds 500 troops – at that number; high-quantity water use is inevitable – with spikes up to 632 GPM.

Hard water has plagued maintenance crews at Ft. Sill since the addition of indoor plumbing. While water is considered hard at 10 grains of hardness per gallon, Ft. Sill’s water measures in at 27.

Archer Western Contractors knew the water treatment system must handle a huge volume while being cost effective. With these parameters, they chose the Watts OneFlow® anti-scale system. The project called for 12 OneFlow® tanks and four and eight-inch Watts model 957 RPZ backflow preventers to protect the domestic water system. Strainers installed upstream of the RPZs help keep debris from getting into the OneFlow® system and backflow preventers.

Crowne Plaza La Concha

OneFlow® Proves a "Perfect Fit" in Iconic Key West Hotel

  • Industry: Hospitality
  • Category: Water Quality
  • Location: Key West, FL
  • Installation: OneFlow Model # OF1665-75 x4 (300 GPM)

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CUSTOMER: Crowne Plaza La Concha, located on Duvall St. in the heart of Key West, was built in 1926. Rich in history, it has been home to famous writers and jet setters. Today the popular hotel books rooms year-round at 90% of capacity.
SCOPE: The hotel’s goal was to control scale in its seven-story hotel, including 160 guest rooms, pool, laundry facilities, three bars and a restaurant.
CHALLENGE: Reduce unscheduled maintenance and increase the life of capital equipment.
SOLUTION: Watts OneFlow® Anti-Scale Systems, Model # OF1665-75 x4 (300 GPM).
RESULTS: In addition to a 90% space footprint reduction, the hotel has reported no visible scale in fixtures and capital equipment since its installation in 2007.

Keeping water flowing freely and safely for guests is a priority for any hotel, but for the Crowne Plaza La Concha, in the heart of Florida’s Key West, hard water and scale buildup were serious concerns. Key West receives the bulk of its water from a pipeline which pumps notoriously hard water from the Biscayne Aquifer in the Florida Everglades. "You could visibly see the scale," says Chief Engineer Daniel Betlewicz, "On the sinks, but especially in the back of the house…and in the laundry area where water was used on a daily basis." Maintenance on capital equipment, such as water heaters, had to be done regularly, and opening them up, the La Concha engineers would find clumps of scale build up that needed to be scraped out, wearing on and potentially damaging equipment over the long-term.

Betlewicz describes the decision to go with OneFlow from Watts as a "no-brainer". In addition to it scale control and low water waste, it was just the compact solution the retrofit needed. "This system actually fits my boiler room," the Chief Engineer explains. "We’ve got limited space because the building is old. This system is very compact. It’s just four tubes…a perfect fit."

Five years later the system is viewed as a huge success, saving La Concha time and money. "This is a good solution for every hotel," says Betlewicz. "No one calls me for any scale problems, anymore. A couple months ago, we had to replace the motor on one of our domestic pumps, and when the contractors took the system apart it showed no sign of scale inside, at all. Even the contractors were surprised, you know, cause there’s usually something. And we have no problem with water heaters or anything. We were pretty happy because I was expecting something, you know…and it was clean."

Hahn Winery

Environmentally-Conscious Family Vineyard Tackles Scale

  • Industry: Hospitality
  • Category: Water Quality
  • Location: Monterey, CA
  • Installation: OneFlow Model # OF1665-75 x2 (150 GPM)

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CUSTOMER: With their location in the Santa Lucia Highlands overlooking the Salinas Valley, Hahn Winery offers wines which are among the finest in the region.
SCOPE: Treat well water used for heat cleaning and sterilization of fermenting barrels and bottles.
CHALLENGE: Hahn Winery’s goal was to ecologically eliminate chemicals, salts and waste discharge, while ensuring the highest quality water for its operations.
SOLUTION: Watts OneFlow® Anti-Scale System, Model # OF1665-75 x2 (150 GPM total).
RESULTS: Less costly up front, the solution is also estimated to save the facility nearly 70% in operating costs, mostly in salt and water purchase and discharge.

When the Hahn Family Winery recently sought out an effective and economical water treatment system to replace their previous salt-based water softener, environmental responsibility was a critical factor.

"With Hahn Winery’s move to become more ecological, we looked at every facet of our environmental stewardship", said Hahn spokesperson Evelyn Pool. "Water treatment was an important part of that puzzle. We’re delighted with our effort to become sustainably certified in the vineyards. Eliminating salt-based softeners while adding new [TAC] scale prevention is a real boost to our sense of environmental responsibility."

The OneFlow solution chosen by the winery requires no water-consuming discharge while providing hard water scale protection. The scale prevention media operates catalytically without salt or chemicals and does not produce a waste stream. "The [TAC] scale prevention is effective at preventing more than 98% of the scale produced by the winery’s hard water," said Watts National Sales Manager Stephen Callahan. "The only maintenance required on the system is a simple media replacement after two or three years of service." That means the Hahn Family Winery can enjoy the fruits of environmental responsibility through their use of salt-free water treatment and still meet their goals for an economical solution to hard water.