Over the weekend: Water stagnation and contaminant exceedances in a green office building

Wargo, Matthew J. and Montagnino, Elizabeth and Proctor, Caitlin R. and Ra, Kyungyeon and Ley, Christian and Noh, Yoorae and Vigil, Katie and Aw, Tiong Gim and Dasika, Sruthi and Whelton, Andrew J. (2022) Over the weekend: Water stagnation and contaminant exceedances in a green office building. PLOS Water, 1 (3). e0000006. ISSN 2767-3219

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The role of water stagnation (~60 hours) in a 2-story commercial office building on building water quality was studied (January to February 2020) for three weekends. Chemical and biological parameters including pH, total chlorine, metals concentrations, Legionella spp. and total cell count were analyzed to understand the differences in water quality at the building entry point, and at eleven fixtures within the building’s copper plumbing. Consistently, the total chlorine concentration decreased over the weekend (p < 0.05), was greatest at the building entry point (maximum 0.8 mg/L), and was lowest within the plumbing (maximum 0.28 mg/L). As expected, total cell count levels were much greater on Monday compared to Friday (p < 0.05) at every sampling point. Legionella spp. was found to be highest at the fixture with no use recorded during sampling. Throughout the building, copper and lead levels increased over the weekend (p < 0.05). Copper exceedances above the federal health-based drinking water limit (1.3 mg/L) were localized to four fixtures, branched from the same riser, that shared a pattern of variable use. Flushing was conducted at one location with consistent copper exceedances but 54 minutes were required to reach the public water supply. Flushing was not a viable copper remediation method as it would need to be repeated every 19 hours or require discarding more than 50 gallons before use. No prior water testing was conducted in the buildings’ life. The results suggest that water quality varies significantly over the week. This has implications for water testing plans and interpretation of data collected from buildings.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Depositing User: APLOS Library
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2022 12:38
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 12:38
URI: http://eprints.asianrepository.com/id/eprint/339

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