October 14, 2021

Campus Water Movement Solutions for Multi-Building Infrastructures of All Sizes

Engineered Water Systems for Campus Buildings

Water movement covers everything from a small sump pump in the basement of a single-family home to a comprehensive municipal utility system. From the design and use standpoint, the utility infrastructure on these campuses operates much like a small town or village. And, just like municipal systems, large campuses require engineering and installation expertise to help ensure stability, seamless integration across the campus, and equipment longevity.

Metropolitan Industries has decades of experience providing comprehensive expertise whether customers need one pump, a full utility system, or help tackling an unforeseen challenge. We recognize the unique needs that arise with any project and approach every large-campus application with an eye on enabling efficient water management that makes both routine use and necessary maintenance as easy as possible. That means fewer concerns for our customers across the United States and a better experience for anyone who puts these water management systems through their paces on a daily basis.

Complete Solutions for Mini Municipalities

Like cites and towns, large campuses are responsible for water distribution, treatment, sewage collection, and stormwater dewatering storm, in addition to managing temperature-controlled water. University and hospital campuses house multiple buildings often built in different years or decades as needs grow and change. The existing infrastructure that supports these buildings is no less varied. Some systems may be modern, others held together with years of creative maintenance, and when one part of the system fails, maintenance crews — and budgets — must decide whether to replace and modernize the equipment or patch things together to squeeze out a little more use.

The latter is tempting, but investing in new, more reliable equipment can save money over time, improve the user experience, and give maintenance crews the room to work on other projects. Quality equipment is essential to this effort, but cost and future maintenance also play a significant role. To understand how, let’s look at three different solutions: self-priming pumps, booster systems, and hot water temperature control.

Self-Priming Pumps

Submersible and vertical column pumps have long been common for the removal of storm and sewage water, but they also present costly, complex, and hazardous challenges. The design of these systems requires multiple personnel for repairs, often necessitates the need for a hoist and/or time in a confined space, and makes downtime unavoidable. For older systems that have rusted significantly, it’s possible that piping will have to be cut to gain necessary access.

Our Metro-Prime self-priming pumps eliminate many of these drawbacks, as well as provide today’s premium efficient motor designs. The pumps themselves rest on the basin cover, allowing them to be serviced without accessing a hazardous location, and they’re engineered to make most maintenance a one-person job with easy access to clean the impeller and replace the flapper valve.

In the best of circumstances, sewage and solids handling pumps will inevitably jam. Under such scenarios, the ease of accessibility of self-priming pumps makes servicing faster, easier, and safer, therefore lessening downtime while minimizing the potential for subsequent problems.

Campus Building Water Sump and Sewage Pumps

Installation of a self-priming pump at a campus in Illinois.

Booster Systems

The role of a booster system is straightforward: ensure water availability when and where you need it. Despite the simplicity, the importance of these systems is clear, and delivering on this expectation across multiple buildings on the back end is not quite as easy with aging equipment. Depending on the quality of the controller, it’s not always easy with new systems either.

Metropolitan’s pressure boosting pump systems are custom designed and engineered for ease of use. They’re assembled indoors in our Romeoville, Ill. facility, designed specifically to meet both flow demands and space restrictions (for any sized project), while each system is fully tested to minimize surprises at installation. Finally, it’s shipped complete with pumps, motors, piping, valves, and controller.

Our custom-programmed PLC-based control systems are intuitively designed to minimize the learning curve for maintenance teams while allowing them to understand system performance in a few taps. With seamless integration into building automation systems, building maintenance crews can remotely access monitoring and controls, in addition to receiving critical notifications regardless of where they are situated. For buildings without automation systems, MetroCloud, our cloud-based SCADA platform, provides an additional integration option to the same remote monitoring and control capabilities. Such remote accessibility becomes a necessity on campuses where on-site maintenance may not be present in the buildings housing these systems.

As an added benefit, we can often work with owners and their contractor to replace an existing booster setup without taking the rest of the water operations offline.

Campus Building Water Distribution Booster Pumps

Duplex booster system installed at the Henry Dale and Betty Smith Football Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Hot Water Temperature Control

Along with providing a better experience for those using the system, temperature control is crucial to meeting code guidelines at state, local, and building-specific levels. Older systems are thermostatic (mechanical), leading to a manual process of temperature setting and monitoring along with wider temperature variations (often +/-5 degrees). Mechanical operation also means they’re difficult to connect to today’s building automation systems as individual electronics, such as temperature sensors, must be integrated. This solution can be viable for a time but introduces another vendor, potentially complicating maintenance challenges that may arise.

Unlike many electronic mixing valves that are simply thermostatic valves with integrated electronics, Metropolitan’s MetroMix was designed to be electronic. Temperature, which only varies by +/-1 degree, is automatically logged for easy trend monitoring and system integration is simple. You can still manually actuate the valve to compensate for power loss or perform maintenance without downtime, but we provide this functionality without sacrificing the digital benefits.

Campus Building Hot Water Temperature Control Systems

MetroMix installation for a healthcare center in Champaign, Ill.

Ready to Provide Complete Solutions for Any Scenario

Best of all, none of this is an all-or-nothing scenario. If only one of your specific pumps needs replacement, we can ensure the new one works well with the rest of the system. If you decide to upgrade one building and save the others, that’s fine, too. We’re guessing you’ll find enough value in Metropolitan’s components and service to make those other replacements sooner rather than later, but we’ll be here to offer guidance and support along the way regardless of what you decide.

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