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Acuity Distribution Center

Palm Beach Water Treatment Plant

Prismatic glass lighting meets diverse
needs at Palm Beach water treatment facility

The Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department, System 3 Water Treatment and Operations/ Maintenance Complex, covers more than 100 acres, and is comprised of numerous buildings and service areas. The diversity of structures, equipment and conditions within the complex created some specific challenges as far as lighting was concerned.

"In these types of facilities, one of the major challenges is the environment. Often, mist in the air and chemicals will corrode lighting fixtures, which means we have to install a heavy duty unit. We also have to take into account the light that reflects off the walls and equipment," explained Brett Lee, associate engineer, Montgomery Watson.

Within the 14,280-square-foot Process Building, which is the largest structure in the membrane softening facility, Holophane PrismGlo® fixtures with 250 watt metal halide lamps are hung from support beams. Except for a small tank area and a corner of the building used for offices, the facility is completely open, "like a warehouse with equipment," as Lee describes it. Walls and floors are concrete painted sky blue.

PrismGlo fixtures are mounted at 18 feet, and spaced 28 feet on center. The units provide 40 percent uplight, and eliminate the cavernous feeling that can occur when the ceiling is dark.

"The membrane treatment equipment within this facility consists of large pipes that circulate the water. Because of the equipment size, they tend to block any light coming from the sides. Uplight and reflected light from the walls were needed to get the light into the aisles," Lee described.

PrismGlo fixtures with 250 metal halide lamps are also used in the 3,692-square-foot Pre-treatment Building, where the larger pumps are located. Mounting height here is 16 feet.

"Like the Process Building, this is a low bay area, so light distribution was a concern. When a motor breaks down, maintenance personnel need quality illumination to be able to see parts and take instrument readings," said Lee.
"The Pre-treatment Building is also a wash down area, which means it is cleaned by spraying with hoses. Lighting fixtures, therefore, must be non-corrosive and able to stand up to the environment," he added.

In the Chlorine Building, PrismGlo units are mounted at 10 feet because of the low ceiling and the presence of a bridge crane. Here, chlorine is pumped from storage cylinders to the manifolds, then distributed to chlorine application points. Workers in the area must be able to read equipment gauges to assure equipment is functioning properly. Within all of the interior areas, the lighting system is designed for 35 footcandles.

As a backup system, emergency lighting, Holophane's EH-12 units, are installed in all of the above mentioned buildings, office areas, and the Generator Building, which is illuminated with fluorescent fixtures because of the drop acoustical tile ceiling. According to Lee, the EH-12 units were selected based on their length of operation (up to 90 minutes), and the tough external covering that enables them to stand up to harsh environments.

"Because of the nature of this facility, if a power outage occurs, we must have generator backup," said Lee. "The emergency units provide minimum levels of illumination to allow employees to continue to operate the facility."

The Clearwell Building, with the exception of a small storage area , is open to the environment. The two tanks in this area, which Lee describes as large concrete swimming pools, are enclosed with lighting fixtures mounted on top, approximately 12 feet above the ground. Lighting fixtures have to be able to stand up to constant exposure to the elements.

Units installed in this area are Holophane Bantam® fixtures with 175 watt metal halide lamps. The fixtures have die cast aluminum housing and a clear corrosion-resistant coating. They are mounted on top of the platform on 16-foot square steel poles painted with epoxy paint.

Lee indicated that Holophane's lighting analysis software, CALAPro, was employed to conduct a sight analysis of the Clearwell Building and other exterior areas. County zoning requires a minimum of 1.5 footcandles outdoors.

Bantam fixtures are also used in the Chemical Containment Area, an exposed storage area with large plastic tanks containing sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid. The area is illuminated at night for operator safety. The Bantam units in this area and the Clearwell building are triggered by photocells.

On the exterior of several structures within the complex, Holophane Wallpack® units with 175 metal halide lamps are installed to facilitate employees entering and leaving the buildings. The complex is staffed 24 hours a day. All Wallpack units are controlled by a photocell.

According to Lee, customers will sometimes request that high pressure sodium fixtures be used in outdoor applications because HPS will not attract insects. While insects were an issue at the Palm Beach County facility, particularly since it is adjacent to a wildlife area, Lee said that other advantages of the metal halide lamps outweighed concerns about insects.
"The white light provided by the metal halide lamps increases visibility for truck drivers when they are servicing certain buildings," he confirmed.

All roadway lighting throughout the complex is provided by Holophane Somerset® fixtures with 175 watt metal halide lamps. Predator® floodlights are installed in the equipment yards.

"Basically, we were able to use a Holophane fixture to meet most of our lighting system needs," Lee concluded. "The fixtures provide high quality illumination and are able to stand up to the environment."

All lighting fixtures at the facility are maintained by the county, with spot relamping conducted as needed. Lee indicated that Holophane fixtures will be used in other buildings that will be constructed. The facility is scheduled for completion in November, 1997.

Montgomery Watson is headquartered in Pasadena, California, and operates 160 offices worldwide.


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