May 31, 2024 | Case Studies

Technical Case Study – Point-of-Entry Filtration

Enhancing Water Quality in Hospitality

In today’s hospitality industry, ensuring high-quality amenities and services is paramount to maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. Among these amenities, access to clean and safe water stands out as a fundamental necessity for guests. Implementing point-of-entry filtration systems in hotels can significantly enhance water quality, thereby elevating the overall guest experience. This analysis advocates for the adoption of point-of-entry filtration systems in hotels, using the Greater Los Angeles area as a case study, and extrapolating its significance to cities like Mexico City. The study also discusses the unique challenges of the hotel industry in island contexts.

Greater Los Angeles Area, California

Water quality in the Greater Los Angeles area has long been a topic of concern due to various factors such as industrial pollution, urban runoff, and aging infrastructure. Suspended solids, including sediment, organic matter, and other particles, can be present in water sources throughout the region. These solids can affect water quality, causing issues such as turbidity, taste, and odor problems, as well as potentially harboring harmful microorganisms.

Hotel Industry in Los Angeles

The Greater Los Angeles area boasts a vibrant hotel industry, accommodating millions of visitors annually. According to recent data, the Los Angeles area is home to over 1,000 hotels, catering to a diverse range of clientele. Among these establishments, a substantial portion comprises luxury hotels renowned for their exceptional service standards and upscale amenities.

High Volumes of Water Are More Likely to Contain Suspended Solids

The high volume of water used in hotels compared to small residences significantly increases the likelihood of suspended solids being introduced into the water supply.

In the absence of point-of-entry filtration systems in commercial buildings, water in the Greater Los Angeles area may indeed carry small amounts of suspended solids. These solids can originate from a variety of sources, including natural erosion, construction activities, and runoff from roads and urban areas. Additionally, old and deteriorating pipes in the water distribution system can contribute to sediment buildup and contamination.

Given the importance of clean and safe water for hotel visitors, it has become increasingly recognized as a best practice to install self-cleaning filters at the point of entry, particularly in establishments such as hotels. These filters are designed to remove suspended solids from the water as it enters the building, ensuring that guests have access to high-quality water for drinking, bathing, and other uses.

The high volume of water used in hotels compared to small residences significantly increases the likelihood of suspended solids being introduced into the water supply. There are several reasons why this is the case:

Increased Water Flow

Hotels typically have a much higher water demand than small residences due to the large number of guests, multiple floors, and numerous amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and laundry facilities. The higher water flow rates result in greater turbulence within the plumbing system, which can stir up sediment and suspended solids that may have settled in the pipes.

Complex Plumbing Systems

Hotels often have more complex plumbing systems with extensive networks of pipes, valves, and fixtures spread across multiple floors and wings. These systems provide more opportunities for sediment accumulation, especially in areas with low flow or stagnant water, such as unused guest rooms or infrequently used bathrooms.

Variety of Water Sources

Hotels may source water from multiple suppliers or groundwater wells, each with its own characteristics and potential for contamination. Additionally, water may be stored in large tanks or reservoirs on-site before being distributed throughout the building, providing additional opportunities for sedimentation and the introduction of suspended solids.

High Turnover of Guests & Activities

Hotels experience frequent turnover of guests and activities, resulting in fluctuating water usage patterns throughout the day. As guests shower, bathe, flush toilets, and use other amenities, they can inadvertently introduce particles such as dirt, hair, and soap scum into the water supply, further contributing to the presence of suspended solids.

Maintenance Challenges

Maintaining water quality in a large hotel can be challenging due to the scale and complexity of the infrastructure. Regular maintenance tasks such as flushing pipes, cleaning storage tanks, and replacing filters may be more difficult to perform consistently, increasing the risk of sediment buildup and contamination.

Research: Thoughts on Hospitality & The Guest Experience

Over the past several years, my professional research journey as the Director of Sales with Forsta Filters has taken me through the diverse landscape of hotels in Los Angeles. What better place to deepen my understanding of an evolving industry than in my own backyard? From the shores of LA’s beach city resorts to the vibrant pulse of downtown accommodations, each hotel has woven its own unique narrative into my exploration of water use in this dynamic city.

At a chic boutique hotel nestled along the iconic Venice Beach, property design effortlessly blended with the surroundings, echoing the laid-back vibe of its coastal locale. However, what struck me most was the commitment to sustainability, evident in every aspect of the guest experience. From eco-friendly amenities to water-saving initiatives, it was clear that preserving the precious resource of clean water was central to their ethos.

Contrastingly, stays in downtown Los Angeles offer a glimpse into the city’s bustling energy and rich cultural tapestry. Here, amidst the towering skyscrapers and bustling streets, I found myself immersed in a world of urban sophistication. Yet, even in the heart of the city, the importance of clean water remained paramount. Whether enjoying a revitalizing shower after a day of exploration or indulging in a refreshing drink at the hotel bar, the quality of water directly impacted the overall guest experience.

In the midst of my exploration of hotels throughout Los Angeles, my journey inevitably led me to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Here, amidst the legendary landmarks and star-studded sidewalks, hotels take on a character all their own. From iconic establishments frequented by silver screen legends to modern boutique gems, each property exudes its own brand of cinematic charm. Yet, regardless of their star-studded status, one thing remains constant: the importance of clean water in shaping the guest experience. Whether basking in the luxury of a rooftop pool overlooking the Hollywood Hills or preparing for a red-carpet event in a lavish suite, access to pristine water is integral to the allure of these Hollywood havens. As I immersed myself in the opulence of Hollywood’s hospitality scene, I gained a deeper appreciation for the intricate interplay between glamour and sustainability, further reinforcing the significance of maintaining water quality standards across all facets of the industry.

As a water industry professional, my experiences in these hotels has provided invaluable insights into the intricate relationship between hospitality and water management. Observing firsthand the measures taken to ensure sustainability and water conservation underscored the vital role that clean water plays in the guest experience. My experiences serve as a constant reminder of the ongoing challenges and demands facing the water industry. By staying connected to the guest experience, I am better equipped to address industry standards and anticipate evolving demands, ultimately contributing to the seamless operation of hotels.

Throughout my stays at various hotels in Los Angeles, and anywhere I travel, I have made it a personal mission to not only enjoy the amenities and ambiance but also to connect with the people behind the scenes. Whenever I check in to a hotel, I take the opportunity to introduce myself and share a bit about my unconventional career path, which took me from waitressing to the realm of water filtration. Engaging in casual conversations with hotel staff and fellow guests, I often find myself delving into discussions about the intersection of technology and personal relationships within the water industry.

Sharing my journey from hospitality to water filtration often sparks curiosity and intrigue among those I encounter. Whether chatting with the concierge about the importance of sustainable practices or striking up a conversation with fellow travelers at a hotel bar, I consistently find that my passion for connecting with people transcends the boundaries of my professional background. Through my real-life interactions, I consistently discover a shared appreciation for the human element within the realm of technological innovation.

Being immersed in the hospitality environment serves as a constant reminder of why I was drawn to the field of water filtration in the first place. Beyond the intricacies of water treatment processes and technological advancements, my true passion lay in forging meaningful connections and fostering relationships that would humanize the often complex world of water management. By infusing the technological side of water filtration with a personal touch, It is always my hope to bridge the gap between industry expertise and everyday experiences, making the importance of clean water more tangible and relatable to all.

As I continue my journey through the diverse landscape of Los Angeles hotels, each encounter reinforces my belief in the power of conversation and connection to drive positive change within the water industry. Whether sharing anecdotes about my career trajectory or simply engaging in casual banter with fellow travelers, I am reminded that at the heart of it all, the essence of hospitality lies in the art of genuine human interaction. From the boardroom to the rooftop bar, it is through relationships that we can truly make a difference, one conversation at a time.

Water Consumption in Hotels

Hotels are significant consumers of water due to various operational needs, including guest amenities, housekeeping, and food service. On average, a mid-sized hotel in the Greater Los Angeles area consumes approximately 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water per day. Considering the multitude of hotels in the region, the collective water consumption is substantial, underlining the importance of efficient water management practices.

Importance of Point-of-Entry Filtration

Point-of-entry filtration systems serve as the first line of defense against contaminants entering a hotel’s water supply. Self-cleaning filters, in particular, offer numerous advantages in maintaining water quality. By installing self-cleaning filters at the point of entry, hotels can safeguard the incoming water supply from pipe scale, sediment, and other debris that may accumulate during transit from the central water treatment plant.

Advantages of Self-Cleaning Filters

Self-cleaning filters are designed to automatically remove impurities from the water without requiring manual intervention. Self-Cleaning filters utilize an automatic backwash sequence to eliminate accumulated debris, ensuring continuous filtration efficiency. Additionally, self-cleaning filters offer long-term cost savings by reducing maintenance requirements and prolonging the lifespan of downstream equipment.

Energy Efficiency Benefits

Adequate filtration also contributes to energy efficiency in hotel operations. Without proper filtration, pipes can accumulate scale over time, leading to reduced pipe orifice and increased frictional resistance. As a result, more energy is required to pump the same amount of water through the system. By preventing scale buildup, self-cleaning filters help maintain optimal flow rates, thereby minimizing energy consumption and operational costs for hotels.

Challenges in Older Parts of Los Angeles

While Los Angeles has undergone extensive development, certain neighborhoods, particularly in older parts of the city, may have aging infrastructure, including water distribution systems. Hotels situated in these areas are more likely to encounter issues related to deteriorating pipes and increased susceptibility to contaminants.

Application in the Greater Los Angeles Area

In the Greater Los Angeles area, hotels rely on a centralized water distribution network supplied by municipal water authorities. While the water undergoes treatment at the source, the aging infrastructure poses risks of contamination during transit. By installing self-cleaning filters at the point of entry, hotels can mitigate these risks and guarantee pristine water quality for guests, especially in neighborhoods with aging infrastructure.

Regional Case Study: Hyatt Regency, Mexico City

Hyatt Regency Mexico City is in the heart of the Polanco neighborhood. They boast 755 pristine hotel rooms, including 18 suites, with lovely views of Chapultepec Park, the city and the mountains at the horizon.

Mexico City, akin to Los Angeles, faces challenges related to water quality and distribution due to its dense urban population and aging infrastructure. By extrapolating the concepts of point-of-entry filtration from city to city, hotels can emulate effective strategies to enhance water quality and uphold guest satisfaction.

Forsta C3-90 and B2-90 Filters, 25u

Forsta FIlters partnered with Helguera Technologies Del Agua in order to work directly with the Hyatt Hotel’s maintenance manager. Together we designed a 3 filter system for inlet flows of 110 and 200gpm to provide fine screen filtration for water entering the hotel.

The Lesson From Schools: New York City

Potable Water Filtration Systems

Forsta self-cleaning filters prevent the introduction of rust and pipe scale into drinking water systems, and provide efficient and reliable water quality regulation in accordance with NSF drinking water requirements.

The New York City School Construction Authority now requires that all potable water filtration systems be equipped with point-of-entry filters. Forsta A4-LP180C model filters are widely used throughout the city for this purpose. From Queens to the Bronx to Staten Island, Forsta Self-Cleaning Filters are ensuring that clean water enters the building in New York City’s schools.

90 Series Filters

Shown at right: (2) C4-90 model filters with 25 micron screens on a stainless steel manifold. These NSF-61 certified filters are installed in a custom configuration to meet the point-of-entry filtration requirements

LP180C Series Filters

Shown at Left: The Forsta A4-LP180C model filter with 25 micron screen and custom manifold was successfully installed on the potable water line at PS70R to prevent suspended solids from entering the school’s potable water system.

Filtration for Hotels on Islands

Point-of-Entry Filtration for Hotels on Islands

In island destinations where tourism plays a pivotal role in the economy, ensuring the availability of clean and safe water for hotels is paramount to maintaining visitor satisfaction and promoting sustainable development. However, producing large volumes of potable water in island contexts presents unique challenges that require innovative solutions to address.

Challenges of Producing Potable Water on Islands

Limited Water Resources: Many islands have limited freshwater resources, relying heavily on rainfall, surface water, groundwater, and packaged desalination plants for their water supply. High demand from both residents and tourists can strain these resources, leading to issues such as saltwater intrusion, groundwater depletion, and contamination from runoff and pollution.

Vulnerability to Climate Change

Island communities are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns, and more frequent extreme weather events. These factors can exacerbate water scarcity and quality issues, affecting both the availability and reliability of water supplies for hotels and other businesses.

Isolation and Logistics

Islands often face logistical challenges in transporting equipment, supplies, and personnel, which can hinder the implementation of large-scale water treatment and distribution infrastructure projects. Limited access to specialized expertise and resources may further complicate efforts to address water quality issues effectively.

Retrofitting Pump Rooms with Self-Cleaning Filters

To mitigate the risks associated with particulate matter entering the water supply, existing hotels on islands are increasingly turning to retrofitting their pump rooms with self-cleaning filters as an additional safeguard. These filters are designed to remove suspended solids, sediment, and other contaminants from the water before it enters the hotel’s distribution system, ensuring that guests have access to clean and safe water for drinking, bathing, and other purposes.

Forsta FRP Series

The Forsta 180 Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Series filters offer an ideal solution for corrosion resistance in brackish, brine and seawater applications. All wetted components of the FRP Series filters are constructed from seawater-resistant materials.

Island Challenges: Santorini, Greece

Challenges of Producing Potable Water on Islands

Producing potable water for hotels on Santorini Island presents a unique set of challenges due to the island’s geographical characteristics and limited water resources. With its arid climate and porous volcanic soil, Santorini faces scarcity in freshwater sources, relying heavily on desalination and groundwater extraction. However, the influx of tourists during peak seasons strains the already limited water supply, necessitating innovative solutions for water conservation and management. Hotels must implement advanced desalination technologies and water recycling systems to meet the demands of guests while preserving the fragile ecosystem of the island. Balancing the needs of hospitality with sustainable water practices remains an ongoing challenge, highlighting the importance of proactive measures to ensure the long-term viability of Santorini’s water supply

Packaged Desalination Plants

Package desalination plants play a crucial role in addressing Santorini Island’s water challenges by providing a decentralized solution to freshwater production. These compact, modular units offer flexibility in installation and operation, making them ideal for catering to the needs of hotels and resorts scattered across the island.

Resilience Against Water Scarcity

By harnessing the abundant seawater surrounding Santorini, package desalination plants utilize advanced membrane technology to convert saline water into potable water, ensuring a reliable and sustainable water supply for hospitality establishments. Their scalability and efficiency enable hotels to mitigate the strain on local freshwater sources while adapting to fluctuating demand during peak tourist seasons. As a key component of Santorini’s water infrastructure, package desalination plants contribute to the island’s resilience in the face of water scarcity, supporting its thriving tourism industry while safeguarding its precious natural resources.

Opportunity for Improvement

The opportunity to enhance package desalination plants by replacing traditional cartridge filters with self- cleaning filters presents a significant area of advancement in water treatment technology. Integrating self- cleaning filters into package desalination plants, will reduce maintenance requirements and improve operational efficiency, particularly in remote or resource-constrained settings like Santorini Island.

Unlike cartridge filters, which require periodic replacement and manual cleaning, self-cleaning filters automatically remove debris and contaminants, ensuring consistent performance and extending the lifespan of desalination equipment. This upgrade not only streamlines maintenance efforts but also enhances the reliability and sustainability of package desalination plants, ultimately contributing to a more resilient and cost-effective solution for providing potable water to hotels and resorts on the island.

Island Challenges: Montego Bay, Jamaica

Future of Filtration

Montego Bay, Jamaica, boasts a vibrant tourism industry with a plethora of hotels catering to visitors from around the globe. With its stunning beaches and lush landscapes, the city is home to a diverse range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to boutique hotels. In this tropical paradise, the use of self-cleaning filters will be paramount for maintaining clean and safe water supplies amidst the challenges of the environment. Centralized water treatment facilities help to ensure that water sourced from rivers or groundwater meets stringent quality standards before being distributed to hotels.

Adding point-of-entry filtration systems within individual hotels will further enhance water quality by removing any solids picked up between the plant at the point of entry into the property’s water infrastructure. Together, these dual approaches to water filtration play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of Montego Bay’s hotel industry, providing guests with the peace of mind that comes with access to clean and refreshing water throughout their stay.

Well Water

Groundwater wells in Jamaica serve as a vital source of potable water, especially in areas where surface water may be limited or unreliable. Through sustainable management practices, these wells provide essential freshwater resources, supporting both local communities and the tourism industry across the island. Forsta partners with local agencies like Jamaica Wells & Services in the ongoing advancement of efficient technology on the island, both at the point of extraction or the point-of entry.

Island Challenges: Phuket, Thailand

Tourism and Increasing Urbanization

In Phuket and throughout Thailand, the production of potable water is a critical endeavor, especially in the face of increasing urbanization and tourism. With a reliance on surface water sources such as rivers and reservoirs, coupled with the challenges of pollution and climate change, ensuring a safe and sustainable water supply remains a pressing concern. Additionally, rapid population growth and development exacerbate the strain on existing water resources, highlighting the need for innovative solutions. The implementation of self-cleaning filters, offers a cost-effective and efficient means of maintaining water quality in decentralized systems.

Improved Reliability

By automating the filtration process and reducing the need for manual maintenance, self-cleaning filters can improve the reliability and longevity of water treatment infrastructure, even in the most remote of locations, ultimately enhancing the resilience of Thailand’s potable water supply in the face of evolving challenges. As the country continues to prioritize sustainable water management practices, the widespread adoption of self-cleaning filters represents a promising step towards a more resilient and water-secure future for Phuket and beyond Forsta works with regional partners in the ongoing advancement of efficient technology on the island, both at the point of extraction or the point-of entry.

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