From: Daniel C Herrick <herrickd**At_Symbol_Here**MIT.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] One Pass Water Flooding Incidents
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2018 21:51:06 +0000
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 5045A69D3478574D8F28F8600633D87601F5858E97**At_Symbol_Here**



In Cambridge MA we are regulated by (among others) the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) which basically prohibits one-pass cooling.  Researchers must connect to the campus chilled water loop (often with local heat exchangers for finer temperature control) or create their own closed system.  For small enough reactions, an effective closed system can be easily and inexpensively made using a bucket, water, ice, and a small aquarium-type pump.


That said, one time in the middle of the night (isn’t that always the way) a tube came loose from the campus chilled water loop connection to the local heat exchanger in a basement-level ~2000 sq ft shared lab space.  Thankfully someone noticed it early the next morning, but there were already 2-3” of water in the entire space…which is a lot of water given the footprint.  No horrible damage occurred because they were reasonably organized and most power strips, CPUs, etc were elevated off the floor as we recommend. 


If an experimental design calls for use of cooling water for a potentially unattended process (maybe because the experiment must run for a long time), we ask people to design some kind of secondary containment into the set-up and get a water level sensor that can be installed in the bottom of the containment.  The sensor should feed back to electronic controls for the water supply and shut it off if any water is detected, because that detection implies a leak somewhere.






- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Daniel C. Herrick, CIH

Senior EHS Coordinator

Mechanical Engineering Department (MechE)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, MA 02130

Email    herrickd**At_Symbol_Here**



Office   3-449g

Phone  617-253-2338


From: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU> On Behalf Of Debbie M. Decker
Sent: Thursday, September 6, 2018 3:48 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] One Pass Water Flooding Incidents


Hi All:


I have a couple of hold-outs who insist on using one-pass water in reflux condensers and the like.  The “California is in constant drought” argument gets me nowhere.


So I’m looking for flooding incidents when the tubing popped off the condenser and flooded the lab or building, etc.  Images would be awesome.







Debbie M. Decker, CCHO, ACS Fellow

Past Chair, Division of Chemical Health and Safety

Councilor and Programming Co-Chair

University of California, Davis





Birkett's hypothesis: "Any chemical reaction

that proceeds smoothly under normal conditions,

can proceed violently in the presence of an idiot."



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