Domestic Water Issue

LRSM infiltration of chilled water into domestic water 2/22/22:

Tuesday February 22, 2022, a housekeeper notified the Building Manager that water in the LRSM basement toilets had a blue tint. P Agnes was immediately contacted.  They contacted West Chester Mechanical and determined the issue was related to a recent utility shutdown that resulted in the chilled water system bleeding into the building domestic water system.

West Chester Mechanical and P. Agnes removed the temporary connection of the chilled water system and domestic water system. The team then flushed the domestic water in the building, running every sink faucet, mop sink, toilet, drinking fountain and hose bib an additional 10 minutes after there was no visible blue tint detected.

The morning of February 23. 2022 P. Agnes led a safety stand down where every construction worker on site met with P. Agnes leadership and reviewed safety protocols and the incident that took place. Project executives from P. Agnes and West Chester Mechanical are actively working with the team to get this resolved. All water fountains and tap water dispensers are being tagged ‘do not use’; all water filters are being replaced. Water service to the building will remain on to flush the system.

Additional flushing was completed this morning. We have arranged for the water to be tested by two separate labs.  We expect the results of the water testing in a few days.  Meanwhile, no water is to be consumed in the building until further notice. In order to avoid backflow in the future, the team is taking extra precautions on future process chilled water shutdowns to avoid use of domestic cold water, which will shut down the chilled water system temporarily. Anticipated PCW shutdowns include one more in the next few weeks and one towards the end of the project.

The team is evaluating staffing levels on the project to ensure follow through before and after shutdowns and better communication moving forward. A second memo will be distributed to building occupants and leadership once the water has been tested and is safe for consumption.

Ruth Macqueen, AIA
Senior Project Manger
Facilities & Real Estate Services
Design and Construction
3101 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6289
O:  215-898-5680
C:  215-316-0615