I have a sink in my lab that has a placard saying "Industrial Water,
Non-Potable" and my question is, what exactly is industrial water?
There's an office upstairs that has 'real water' in it. Is industrial
water unclean, does it have heavy metals in it? Is it run with cheaper
pipes, or do they get their water from a different source? Is it really
cheaper to run a whole different set of piping throughout the building
just to use different water in the labs? An even then, why would water
that's not okay for my GI tract be okay for cleaning beakers or washing
I wouldn't really want to be routinely washing my hands in
"non-potable" water. If it were me, I would sure ask what about that
water is non-potable.
Having worked in a bio-chem lab in college, we sure never rinsed our
beakers in "sink water." (And I don't recall any "non-potable" signs.)
We washed them with acid and rinsed them with distilled water. Depends
on the work you're doing, though.
Simple description: Non-Potable
What makes it non-potable does not necessarily make it unsafe to use for
cleaning, flushing toilets, etc. The water may not meet the guidelines for
a particular factor that is tested. In one case, I know of a well that has
water with 300 ppm chlorides, but the health department sets 200 ppm as
maximum. This does not mean the water is not sanitary, but over the long
haul, it is not good to drink. Could be many other reasons also..
I am working on the construction of a new lab building. For this building
the domestic and industrial water come from the same source - the city water
main. Once it enters the building it is split into industrial water and
domestic water. The industrial serves the lab sinks and the domestic serves
the bathrooms and drinking fountains. I've noticed in other labs that they
make coffee with industrial water........ Next time I see the plumbing
engineer guess I'll have to ask the question!
Not purified for human consumption, more likely not clorinated.
Possibly, if water or treatment is expensive in that area.
Cooling (condensing) applications that require constantly
running water, or for large water usages.
No, not ok for washing hands, think germs. It could even be re-cycled
water, depending on how expensive water is.
I've got a better question since everybody knows what "nonpotable"
means and "industrial water" is obviously a generic term that could
mean anything. The question, Why don't you ask the maintenance or
water control people where you work, since nobody here can do anything
but provide wild guesses.
And to answer your other questions, yes it is cheaper to run a second
set of pipes, it all depends on the cost of the water and its intended
use. You certainly don't need potable water to flush urnials and WCs,
wash and mop floors or for most cleaning other cleaning jobs including
washing your "dirty" hands. We have "irrigation water" which we spray
all over the backyard and use to wash dirt off our hands and shovels,
etc. It is surface water which is untreated and high quality, but not
germ free, and at lower reaches increasingly contains nitrates and
insecticides. Oh yeah, the kids swim in the canal even though it is
dangerous. Ever paddle a canoe or ride in a boat and get any of that
nasty untreated water on you?
Curious?, not much, or you would ask the people where you work. Jees,
what kind of lab work do you do? I can't fathom a lab worker that
wouldn't already know the answer to your question.
On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 19:13:42 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"
If you ever drive to Florida on I-95 shortly after you cross the state
line from Georgia you can stop at a "Florida Welcome" facility - in
the numerous rest rooms the signs on the lavatory sinks warn that the
water supply is not potable - it was my understanding that water used
in the rest rooms and janitorial areas is obtained from the sewerage
processing plant on the site where it is processed to a level that
permits its use for all other purposes than for human consumption.
Our local water supply is metered and based on consumption residents
are charged for sewer service - if you have a lawn irrigation system
you can opt to have a second water meter installed for measurement of
the water used for irrigation and it is not included in the
calculation of the home owners sewer charges. Some sections of the
town have a separate "gray water" service that is used for this and
that water is supplied by the sewerage processing plant by diverting a
portion of the water that it produces that used to be disposed of in
the local rivers.
It is pretty simple. Many buildings have the main water supply split into two
delivery systems after it enters the building. The potable water supply must
have back-flow preventers installed to help insure that the water in the pipes
remains as clean as it can. The water quality is periodically tested if your
company has such a program.
The non-potable system does not have the back-flow preventer and may be used
for wash sinks, hose bibs, fire protection, boiler makeup, etc. It's the same
Where I work there are two separate water systems: potable water for
drinking fountains, coffee machines, the cafeteria, etc, and a second
system for everything else from the toilets, sinks in the bathrooms,
to industrial process use. The drinking water is supplied by the city
and the rest is supplied by the company's own water treatment plant.
I work at a large industrial site that uses enough water for
industrial processes that it pays to have it's own water treatment
plant right next to the city water treatment plant. Apparently they
can run the plant for cheaper than what the city charges for water.
I'm told that the "industrial water" is normally just as clean as the
city water, except that they don't do as much water quality testing
and don't want to go through the hassle of keeping the water legally
certified as potable. I know they do at least some regular testing
because we get warnings when the company water supply doesn't meet the
standards for some parameter.
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