OneFlow® Reduces Cost, Labor at Illinois Hospital
In May 2016, Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL, opened a 150-room, $70 million addition to its 11th Street campus. The addition consolidated all inpatient care into one building and created dozens of new private rooms. Today the building serves as the new home for three inpatient Behavioral Center units.
Critical to the renovation was a new water quality solution. The new system would need to meet two criteria:
• Require no use of salt
• Fit in the basement area used by the conventional water softener solution the hospital had been using.
The hospital chose the OneFlow® solution from Watts because unlike the softener system it replaces, it requires no salt and takes up a significantly smaller footprint than the water softener system. OneFlow is not a water softener. Instead it uses a water treatment technology known as TAC (template assisted crystallization). Water simply flows through this environmentally friendly technology, preventing scale formation.
OneFlow requires only about 15% of the space the conventional water software needed (Figure 1). Together these differences add up to significant savings. With the water softener solution, the hospital had been purchasing 10 to15 50-lb bags of salt per week for treating approximately 30,000 gallons of hot water.
The OneFlow solution eliminated the reoccurring cost of salt, as well as the labor-intensive effort of hauling the salt to the basement. With the OneFlow solution, the hospital was also able to avoid the considerable erosion salt had caused to the basement's concrete floor.
Joe Vermeire, Facilities/Maintenance Supervisor, stated that OneFlow “just sits down there and purrs.” OneFlow requires no electricity, no moving parts, no chemicals, no backwash, and no wastewater.
|OneFlow TAC||Water Softener|
|Process||Physically binds hardness ions together to prevent them from forming scale||Exchanges hardness ions with sodium ions|
|Maintenance||Generally replace cartridge or media every 3 years||Periodically refill with salt|
|Drainage||None required||Regeneration waste water with high mineral and salt levels|
|Benefits||Scale formation prevented
Low life cycle cost
Permitted in locations with restrictions on water softeners
Small installation footprint
No salt, electricity or drainage required
|Scale formation prevented
Water feels soft
Soaps foam better
Dishes have less soft mineral deposits
|Drawbacks||Soft scale may form on surfaces (easily removed with damp cloth)||Purchase, transportation and storage of salt
Requires drain and electricity
Requires bypass plumbing to provide untreated water for plants
Treating hard water can cause high salt levels in drinking water
Municipal treatment plants have difficulty removing added salt from reclaimed water making it unsuitable for irrigation or recharging aquifers
When water comes into contact with the OneFlow media, calcium and magnesium in hard water are collected and combined to form microscopic crystals. These inert crystals break away as they grow and remain suspended in the water and move harmlessly through a plumbing system, unable to form hard scale inside pipes or on appliances as a result of the OneFlow treatment.
Calcium and magnesium in hard water collect and combine, forming microscopic crystals. These inert crystals break away as they grow and remain suspended in the water and move harmlessly through plumbing, unable to form hard scale inside pipes or on appliances.
The OneFlow system treats all water going into the facility, hot and cold. The treated water can be used cold or heated for various purposes such as showers.
Whether the treated water is hot or cold, scale formation is prevented. This treatment is critical because scale is harmful to plumbing systems in several ways:
• It reduces the inner diameter of pipes and elbows, ultimately leading to restrictions in flow rate and pressure loss.
• It can form on internal moving parts of valves and components, affecting their intended purpose or worse, causing failures that threaten safety.
• Heating elements can become coated with scale, reducing efficiency and increasing operating costs.
Over time, scale becomes highly insoluble, making it extremely difficult to remove, which can lead to costly remediation efforts.
Today the OneFlow solution continues to effectively treat the hospital's water without scaling and has helped decrease calcium and lime build-up in the older lines of the existing building as well.
In the design at Blessing Hospital, water comes in at the tank bottom, flows up, and goes out of the tank on the top.