Green Plumbing Products

Green Plumbing Products

Efficient heating and cooling system installed in massive cathedral

Drain rehab system allows contractor to save valuable tree

Problem: In Montreal, Stephane Desormier of S. Desormiers Excavation was charged with rehabilitating a sewer drain. He needed to avoid having to cut down a 90-year-old tree that the client wanted to conserve and also avoid breaking a municipal sidewalk.

Solution: Desormier used the CIPP Pipe Rehabilitation System from Drain Rehab Solutions, including the DRS Pipe Patch Repair Kit. The DRS Pipe Patch Repair Kit is a green solution without any volatile compounds or toxic odors. There is an approximate 80 percent reduction in the carbon footprint of a construction site when no trucking, transportation and use of heavy machinery is taken into account.

Result: Desormier was able to rehab the drain without removing the tree and was able to save an estimated 25 to 40 percent comparative to the excavation price. The work was accomplished with a two-man crew to reline the pipes effectively and cleanly. 514-379-3544;

High-capacity chambers reduce carbon footprint at biological field station

Problem: Blue Oak Ranch Reserve is a University of California-owned and -operated biological field station and ecological reserve. A proposed renovation of the facilities including new housing construction and a large utility infrastructure building required design of a wastewater treatment system to serve the expansion, protect the surrounding environment, and recharge the aquifer.

Solution: A wastewater recharge system, designed by Biosphere Consulting and installed by Battle Mountain Excavation, accommodates the calculated peak usage design flow of 3,280 gpd and includes 231 Quick4 Plus high-capacity chambers from Infiltrator Water Technologies in a shallow system installation. The chambers were installed in trenches with minimal invasiveness and site disruption. Wastewater is dispersed in two separate leachfields. The first serves the faculty residences and the student cabins and is a combination of gravity flow and pressurized (pump up) trenches. The second is a conventional gravity flow system. The two systems have septic tanks as primary treatment with the soils providing final treatment and polishing of the effluent prior to it returning to the local aquifer.

Result: The specification of recycled products resulted in a reduced carbon footprint as compared to labor-intensive, mined aggregate, meeting the station’s sustainability commitment. The decentralized wastewater treatment system design also met the goal of completing the water cycle and replenishing the local aquifer. With funding from the California Wildlife Conservation Board, the project exemplifies full-spectrum thinking to achieve water conservation, wastewater treatment, and energy sustainability goals. 800-221-4436;

New approach eliminates lift station pump clogs at large apartment complex

Problem: Villa Mountain Vista North Las Vegas — a 400-unit apartment complex — had an on-site lift station plagued with frequent clogs of the sewage pumps. When the wide variety of flushed debris such as wipes, clothing, toothbrushes and superhero toys (to name a few) reached the pumps, they inevitably clogged or damaged the system. Unclogging pumps was labor-intensive, time-consuming and expensive. The solution often involved replacing broken down pumps, at a cost of $3,000 to $3,500 each occurrence. Plumbing Enterprises representative Colin Pirrie, the on-site treatment manager of Villa Mountain Vista, needed a new approach.

Solution: Pirrie found JWC Environmental’s 3-HYDRO sewage grinders and thought it might solve his problem. The low-speed and high-torque two-shafted grinder came pre-engineered for installation in the wet well. The retrofit of the stainless steel mounting frame and grinders was a one-day job for Pirrie’s crew.

Result: In the time since the installation, there’s been no need for service. The pump, which was clogging on a weekly basis, hasn’t seen a failure. In a 90-day period, approximately $20,000 was saved — resources typically spent on removing, repairing and reinstalling new pumps. 800-331-2277;

Tankless water heater a fit for remodeled home 

Problem: When Ben Bogie, owner and general contractor at Built to Last Design & Build, was hired to remodel a 1,300-square-foot, Woodbury, Connecticut, home into a residence that would allow its owner to “age in place,” he knew he would have to gut the structure. One of many decisions that had to be made from an energy-efficiency standpoint involved replacing the home’s 60-gallon storage-tank water heater. “To simply swap it with another storage-tank water heater didn’t make any sense in the context of our energy-efficient project goals,” Bogie says.

Solution: Instead, Bogie immediately identified tankless water heating technology as the preferred solution. “We decided to go with the EZTR75 tankless water heating package, which Noritz America donated to this model remodel project, for a streamlined installation,” Bogie says. The EZTR75 is a direct replacement option for 60- and 75-gallon storage-tank water heaters because of its top-mount water connections and multiple venting options, which reduce installation costs. The package comes with an EZ 111 tankless water heater, a flex vent conversion kit (with 25 feet of 2-inch flex) and an isolation valve kit. Venting can be accomplished using either dual-pipe or single-pipe (made of PVC or CPVC), as well as the included 2-inch flex, which can be fed through the existing B-Vent. A technician from Lucas Plumbing was able to install the EZ 111 in under three hours. For venting, he ran the 2-inch flex included with the unit up through the existing B-Vent.

Result: Since the installation, the unit has been tested and forecasted to earn the homeowner significant energy savings once she moves in, especially when considered in the context of the entire remodel. 714-433-2905;

Repairing a sewer while saving the trees

Problem: B. Braun, a large producer of medical products, operates a facility and wastewater treatment plant in a woodland park that is part of a delicate regional ecosystem. When a CCTV inspection of the pipeline showed that 1,000 feet of pipeline had been damaged by encroaching tree roots, they sought to rehabilitate the badly damaged wastewater system in a dense forest with steep inclines while preserving natural resources.

Solution: Tkm-Service GmbH oversaw the project and met with an expert from Trelleborg Pipe Seals to find the best solution to deal with the forest’s limited access and steep inclines. Trelleborg Pipe Seals suggested the use of its DrainFlexLiner and POX HC120+ resin for hot water curing. The resin’s generous pot life allowed the crew over three hours to prepare the liner, carry it down the hill using large wheelbarrows and invert the liner into the manholes. Purpose-built water towers let the steep hill and gravity work to their advantage. The resin’s pot life helped maintain efficient workflow.

Result: After the liner cured, a leak test and CCTV inspection was performed. A liner sample was sent to a laboratory for further testing and the findings were positive: The cured liner was 100 percent watertight and the mechanical values exceeded normal requirements. The resin contains no VOCs or styrene, and not a single tree was felled. 800-626-2180;

Efficient heating and cooling system installed in massive cathedral

Problem: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, located in the heart of New York City, is an international landmark and a source of inspiration to the more than 5 million visitors of every religious denomination welcomed each year. A state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system replaces its system of steam radiators and works to heat and cool the more than 76,000-square-foot cathedral. Landmark Facilities Group sought updates to the system that were both compact and efficient.

Solution: The Triangle Tube Prestige 399 Cascade system is the heart of that system and is located in a tightly packed boiler room under the church’s campus. The unit was chosen because of its ease of installation and flexibility, allowing it to adapt to job site conditions. It offers high Btus in a small package, which fits within the small footprint of the project. The common vent system also saved space by combining multiple vents together into one. The system has multiple high-efficiency, fully modulating, low-water-content boilers, where off cycle losses are substantially reduced and dissipated heat from the stored water is far less than a single large-capacity boiler. 

Result: The technology has reduced the cathedral’s carbon footprint and will ensure visitors remain warm for years to come. 856-228-8881;

Contractor seeks tankless water heater with easy installation

Problem: Eric Silva, owner of Silva Mechanical in Walled Lake, Michigan, installed 92 tankless water heating systems last year alone, and he is on track for even more in 2018. He sought a solution that would cut installation time. “Every day we’re putting in or servicing a tankless water heater,” Silva says. “In doing so, we have to go in, alter the water piping, the gas piping, the venting, everything. You want as little downtime as possible.”

Solution: Silva turned to the Viega ProPress and MegaPressG to install tankless water heaters in many homes. The speed of Viega connections allows him to expedite the process and restore hot water for homeowners as fast as possible. “With Viega, I cut off the old piping, press on down the wall and we’re good to go. I’ve had people call me at night and say, ‘My water heater just went out and I’d love to have hot water by morning.’ With Viega and tankless systems, we can make that happen.” Silva uses ProPress to plumb the on-demand hot-water units and MegaPressG for the gas lines to heat the water.

Result: “You’re trying to make everybody happy, and when you can do things in an expedited manner, that sure helps,” Silva says. “It is such a no-brainer for me. I don’t even carry a torch on my truck anymore! We’ve found a way to incorporate MegaPressG and ProPress on all our jobs.” 800-976-9819;


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