Highlands Sports Complex WELL


Water Concept Intent

The WELL Water concept covers aspects of the quality, distribution and control of liquid water in a building. It includes features that address the availability and contaminant thresholds of drinking water, as well as features targeting the management of water to avoid damage to building materials and environmental conditions.

W01: Fundamental Water Quality

Focus: to limit sediment and water-borne bacteria levels in water for occupants and human contact.

Why it's Important:

The water supplies of most cities use an extensive treatment system to maintain the integrity and safety of the water. Two properties of water—total coliforms and turbidity—commonly serve as indicators for the effectiveness of these systems and for the possible presence of other, more concerning contaminants. Coliform bacteria are naturally present in the environment and are generally considered harmless. However, some coliforms such as many belonging to the E. coli species may cause disease if ingested. Turbidity, a measure of water cloudiness, is an easily quantifiable indicator of the availability of food and shelter for microbes, in addition to indicating possible problems with filtration (and possibly causing aesthetic concerns). High turbidity water also can foul or reduce the efficacy of water treatment technologies intended to remove health-related contaminants. Managing contaminants that serve as indicators can prepare the water for further treatment and demonstrate that treatment methods are properly functioning.   

What We Tested:

Water delivered to the Highlands Sports Complex for human contact meets the thresholds of:

Turbidity less than or equal to 1.0 NTU.

Contains 0 CFU / 100 mL total coliforms (including E. coli).

These thresholds for contaminants are reported in the local municipal water quality report and are submitted annually to WELL.

W02: Water Contaminants

Focus: to provide access to drinking water that complies with health-based limits on contaminants.

Why it's Important:

Rivers, lakes and other sources of drinking water can accumulate pollution through natural geologic conditions or from industry and agriculture. For example, natural deposits have caused high arsenic levels above the WHO recommendations in drinking water for 140 million people in 50 countries. Pesticides and herbicides used in agriculture enter the water supply through rain runoff and in the U.S. have been detected in virtually every stream in agricultural, urban and mixed-use areas, as well as in 30-70% of groundwater. Many of the metals and organic pollutants found in water, such as vinyl chloride and mercury, arise from discharge from industrial facilities. As water travels from its source through municipal distribution systems and building pipes, it also encounters many opportunities to pick up contaminants. Water districts often add chlorine for valuable disinfection purposes. However, disinfectant byproducts (DBPs) such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs) can be created when the chlorine reacts with organic material in the water. Exposure to these through ingestion and inhalation has been linked to cancer, kidney damage and central nervous system birth defects. Finally, corrosion from municipal or building pipes is the primary source for other drinking water contaminants, such as lead, which is associated with impaired neurodevelopment in children and increased systolic blood pressure in adults. Identifying and controlling the contaminants in drinking water can reduce exposure (through ingestion) to harmful substances.   

What We Tested:

Dissolve metals thresholds:

lead less than 0.01 mg/L, arsenic less than 0.01 mg/L, antimony less than 0.006 mg/L, mercury less than 0.002 mg/L, nickel less than 0.07 mg/L, copper less than 1.0 mg/L, cadmium less than 0.005 mg/L, chromium (total) less than 0.1 mg/L

Organic pollutant thresholds:

styrene less than 0.02 mg/L, benzene less than 0.005 mg/L, ethylbenzene less than 0.3 mg/L, vinyl chloride less than 0.002 mg/L, toluene less than 0.7 mg/L, xylenes (total: m, p and o) less than 0.5 mg/L, tetrachloroethylene less than 0.005 mg/L

Disinfectant byproducts thresholds:

total trihalomethanes (sum of dibromochloromethane, bromodichloromethane, chloroform and bromoform) less than 0.08 mg/L, total haloacetic acids (sum of chloroacetic, dichloroacetic, trichloroacetic, bromoacetic and dibromoacetic acids) less than 0.06 mg/L

Herbicide and pesticide thresholds:

atrazine less than 0.003 mg/L, simazine less than 0.002 mg/L, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid less than 0.07 mg/L 

Fertilizer thresholds:

nitrate less than 50 mg/L (11 mg/L as nitrogen)  

Public Water Additives Threshold:

fluoride less than 4 mg/L, total chlorine less than 4 mg/L, chloramine less than 4 mg/L 

How We Maintain Quality:

These levels of the water contaminants are reported in the local municipal water quality report, are submitted annually to WELL.

W03: Legionella Control

Focus: to establish an effective management program that prevents or adequately controls the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria.

Why it's Important:

Legionella is a species of bacteria naturally present in many bodies of water that, if inhaled, can lead to legionellosis (commonly called Legionnaires’ Disease), a type of pneumonia. It can cause coughs and shortness of breath and also muscle aches and headaches. If untreated, it can lead to lung failure and death, especially for those at higher risk, such as individuals who smoke, are over 50 or have a weakened immune system. The Legionella bacterium was first identified in 1976 following an outbreak in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Each year in the U.S., Legionella results in roughly 8,000 to 18,000 hospitalizations; in France, there are roughly 1,300 cases each year, and in Australia, 300 to 500 cases are identified annually. This represents a rate of 1.8 to 2 cases per 100,000 population, a number that has been increasing in recent years in many locations. By carefully cataloging water assets and hazards and preemptively developing plans and responses, projects can control a common building-related illness.

How We Do It:

Highlands Sports Complex, in coordination with the Ohio County Development Authority, and the facility design team have put together a comprehensive prevention and action team to combat Legionella bacteria.

W04: Enhanced Water Quality

Focus: to provide access to drinking water without unpleasant taste, odor, and appearance.

Why it's Important:

Even when health-based thresholds for water quality are met, water can be unappealing to drink because of contaminants that affect taste, odor and appearance, sometimes referred to as nuisance chemicals. For example, high levels of chloride contribute to a salty taste and iron can give the water a reddish appearance. Therefore, many regulatory bodies set non-enforceable limits, such as the Canadian Aesthetic Objectives and the U.S. National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations, based on human detectability and acceptability for these substances.

What We Tested:

Acceptable thresholds of aluminum less than or equal to 0.2 mg/L, chloride less than 250 mg/L, fluoride less than 2 mg/L, manganese less than 0.05 mg/L, sodium less than 270 mg/L, sulfate less than 250 mg/L, iron less than 0.3 mg/L, zinc less than 5 mg/L, total Dissolved Solids less than 500 mg/L.   

W07: Moisture Management

Focus: to limit the potential for bacteria and mold growth within Highlands Sports Complex from water filtration and condensation.

Why it's Important:

Excess moisture and dampness are a common problems in buildings, affecting about 20% of buildings in Europe, Canada and the U.S. It creates conditions conducive to the growth of mold and other biological pests, which can increase the risk of developing respiratory infections and asthma for those within the building. It is estimated that one fifth of asthma cases in the U.S. are caused by excess moisture and dampness in buildings, contributing to some $3.5 billion in asthma-related medical expenses. Furthermore, moisture can damage the building itself by creating an environment hospitable to insects and other destructive pests, corroding metal components and degrading wood and porous building materials. These problems can arise when water unintentionally penetrates the building envelope or leaks from indoor uses of water, or when moisture-heavy air condenses on building materials. Through effective design of the building’s curtain wall, plumbing assemblies and ventilation system, projects can make conditions inhospitable to mold, microbes and pests, reducing the risk to respiratory health.

How We Achieve This:

Highlands Sports Complex has a weather resistant barrier with flashing systems at penetration points constructed interior areas to the exterior areas protecting the occupants from moisture and secure free-draining systems.

W08: Handwashing

Focus: to reduce pathogen transmission associated with washing and drying hands.

Why it's Important:

Washing hands with soap is a recommended and effective way of removing dirt and bacteria and can greatly reduce transmission and incidence of gastrointestinal disease, including diarrhea, and respiratory disease. However, the hands will only become as clean as the surrounding environment. Sinks, which often have standing water and relatively infrequent cleaning, can house pathogenic bacteria that can migrate onto hands if touched. Liquid soap dispensers are another place that frequently become homes for bacteria; even when cleaned, the soap and inside of the container often remain contaminated, indicating that the dispensers should not be topped off or refilled. Once an individual’s hands are cleaned, they can more easily become re-infected when wet compared to when dry. By encouraging handwashing and drying and limiting places that harbor germs, projects can help reduce infectious disease transmission. 

How We Do It:

All building occupants in all areas where handwashing is done have access to fragrance-free soap placed in dispensers and paper towels available for hand drying to reduce airborne pathogen movement and signage is placed at the entrance to eating areas such as our commercial kitchen guiding occupants to the nearest handwashing area.