November Newsletter Print

President's Report


I just got back from the ASPE Symposium held in Pittsburgh last month.  9 Nine members of the ASPE Seattle Chapter made it to Pittsburgh for this event!  The big winner was McKinstry for the company from our area sponsoring the most employees! They sent 3 employees to the Symposium! There is reason why McKinstry is a national leader in design build projects. They know the value of having their employees attend the ASPE Symposium. Also, for the first time ASPE Seattle Chapter sponsored 3 attendees. This is a good trend to have more ASPE Board members attend the symposium. Other companies that sponsored 1 employee each were Ecotope and WSP. Charlotte Pipe & Foundry also sent a member of our chapter to the Symposium. The Symposium also featured a smaller product show although it is much bigger than our local ASPE Chapter product shows.

The symposium offered up 40 classes on various plumbing related topics. Topics range from basic plumbing design to specialty plumbing systems in health care, sustainability, fire protection and management. There is always something new to learn no matter what your experience level is. My selection of courses included Snow and Ice Melt and Steam Systems because these are new to me. What was most striking about the Snow and Ice Melting class was how little it cost to operate these systems. The example was a fire station driveway in Albany, New York which gets hit with a lot a snow every year. It costs less than $200 a year in gas to keep the driveway clear. Compare this to the cost of snow removal equipment, shoveling, constant freeze-ups and salt damage to vehicles. The other course on steam design was very helpful in feeling more comfortable with steam. Seattle has steam in the streets for commercial use. What plumbing engineer doesn’t want to know more about steam?

The other courses I took were to help me on my next project which is a modular apartment building. Hopefully, this idea will catch on to provide more low-cost housing in the future. One class was a hands-on practical class on assembling cast iron multistory fittings, and the other two sustainable classes were an introduction to other green programs and product sustainability for environmental transparency. All three will be very useful for my next project. That’s how you select courses at these symposiums and conventions. Pick something new and then something useful.

For our entertainment we took an evening cruise up and down the three rivers that intersect in Pittsburgh. The Allegheny River, the Monongahela River and the Ohio River. That was a lot of fun. A little chilly on the top deck but the views were amazing! Visiting these older cities on the East coast can be very interesting from a historical perspective.

Future Conferences are as follows:

2020: Convention & Expo – September 11-16, 2020 in New Orleans, LA

2021: Symposium – September 21-26, 2021 in San Diego, CA

2022: Convention & Expo – September 16-21, 2022 in Indianapolis, IN

2023: Symposium – September 26-October 2 in Bellevue, WA

I would encourage all plumbing engineers and designers to attend one or more of these future conferences. They are great learning and networking experiences. They all have a great selection of classes. The Conventions have a larger product show associated with it. The next convention is in New Orleans! Who doesn’t want to visit New Orleans? Extend your visit to a week and enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans. Live a little!

Please take note. The 2023 Symposium will be in Bellevue, Washington! That’s right in our back yard. Your local ASPE Chapter will probably ask for volunteers to help host this Symposium. I may come out of retirement to help out too. Should be interesting!

Frank van der Harst, ASPE President

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Mariner Game

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Cole Industrial, Inc.

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Legislative Report

 ASHRAE has released an expanded, revised version of a well-known energy standard.

 ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2019, Energy Efficiency Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, contains more than 100 changes from the 2016 version, including numerous energy-saving measures.

“The goal of the 2019 version of 90.1 was to provide clearer guidance for exceeding efficiency goals,” said Drake Erbe, chair of the Standard 90.1 committee. “This new version focuses on energy-saving measures which we hope will reward designs for achieving energy cost levels above the standard minimum and result in more efficient buildings and more innovative solutions.” For a summary of significant changes:

 Economic Outlook

Slowdown but no recession yet: Dr. Chris Kuehl of Armada Executive Intelligence, which produces economic forecasts for the American Supply Association, in his September report issued the following Executive Summary guidance.

Big Items GDP: There has been a bit of a decline in terms of expectations when it comes to GDP. The latter half of the year has been slowing (as expected) and that has changed the consensus view to growth at around 2.2% and possibly lower. Yet, the Congressional Budget Office still has estimates at 2.6%.

Watch for two key dates.

U.S. EPA introduces new regulations on lead and copper in drinking water

The EPA’s proposed revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule do not change the existing lead action level of 15 ppb, but they do include a new lead trigger level of 10 ppb to enable water systems to react more quickly by reevaluating current treatment or conducting a corrosion control study.

How to avoid the top OSHA violations.

Here’s a handy checklist, accompanied by advice, to make sure you can pass muster if the federal safety agency ever pays an unannounced visit to your facility. It pays to be prepared not only to avoid citations and fines but to keep your workers as safe as possible.

ICC publishes Plumbing Code Essentials, 2018 Edition

This guide uses non-code language to explain the provisions essential to understanding how to apply the 2018 International Plumbing Code (IPC) to everyday plumbing practice and also covers International Residential Code plumbing provisions and includes a chapter on fuel gas piping. More>>

Plan Review Forecast

Public Health Seattle/King County- (Seattle) Plumbing Permit:

Seattle Plumbing plan review projects are currently taking up to (8) weeks. No intake appointment required. Plans are dropped off to Public Health Seattle/King County office.

  • City of Bellevue Plumbing Permit:


No intake appointment required. Documents are submitted online.

Bellevue’s ESTIMATED target review time: (2-3) weeks

  • City of Tacoma Plumbing Permit:


No intake appointment required. Documents are submitted online.

Tacoma’s ESTIMATED target review time: (3-4) weeks


Michael Curtright, LEED AP, CPD, Vice President of Legislative

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Technical Report

Happy Halloween! I hope everyone had a fun and safe night Trick or Treating and now stuck eating a bunch of leftover candy. I've just returned from the ASPE Technical Symposium in Pittsburgh along with Frank and a few other members from the Seattle chapter. It was highly informative and there were 7 technical sessions over 3 days along with a product show, social gatherings, and networking events. It was quite an amazing event.

I will be continuing to work with speakers from the presented at the Symposuim to bring them to Seattle to deliver their presentations. Some are topics we haven't had delivered in our Chapter ever or not for a long time:

Hydronic Snow & Ice Melting Systems, Roof Drain Flow Testing, Backflow Prevention for Chemical Dispensers & Kitchen Equipment, UL 1738 Flue Gas Venting Systems, and more!

I am excited to present some new topics and new speakers to the Chapter this year and still have a few openings in the spring to fill up, so if you have topics or speakers you would like to suggest, you can email me! 

 As a reminder, Chapter CEUs are now issued directly from ASPE. I will be relying on ASPE’s new system for Education to generate CEUs. The nice part of this is that the CEUs will be stored by ASPE and connected to your member profile. When it comes time to renew your CPD or CPDT, the CEUs will already be loaded to your account.

Mark your calendars now for the 2020 ASPE Convention & Expo. It will be held September 11-16, 2020 in New Orleans, LA. Planning is already underway for technical sessions and fun activities in the Big Easy! More details will be available on the ASPE website in the Spring.

Upcoming Technical Meetings


Topic & Speaker



Medical Gas Design

Kelly Nelson (Beacon Medaes)



Flexible Sprinkler Fittings

Mike Bell (Victaulic)



Engineered Solutions to Design out Legionella

Craig Boyce (Kemper Water Control)



Composting Toilets

Geoff Hill (Toilet Tech)



ASPE Seattle Product Show

Speaker & Topic To Be Determined



Speaker & Topic To Be Determined



Speaker & Topic To Be Determined



Speaker & Topic To Be Determined



ASPE Seattle Golf Outing


Jonathan Franzese, VP Technical

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JR Smith

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Columbia Hydronics Ad

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VP Membership Report

You can tell that we’re well into Fall around here.  It’s turned really chilly in the mornings and more than half the leaves in the trees have already dropped.  Now it’s time to get raking.

A big thank you goes out to Michael Keim, with Evergreen Compressed Air, for his presentation on Energy Efficiency in Compressed Air Systems.  I unfortunately was unable to make last month’s meeting, but I understand that Michael’s presentation was well received by the group.

Please welcome David Munro, with CB Engineers, and Paul Heine, with Courtney and Nye, as the newest members of the Seattle ASPE chapter.  Make sure you go out of your way to introduce yourself to David and Paul when you happen to run into them at one of our meetings or other chapter events.

Make sure you take the opportunity to visit the education tab of the website.  Members are able to sign up for on-demand webinars on a variety of subjects.  In the Read, Earn, Earn section, you can accumulate CEU’s just by reading an article from an ASPE publication and taking a short quiz.  This benefit is free to members and a nominal fee to non-members.  This is also the venue where you can connect with other member to discuss issues that you may be having with your projects.

The following members are celebrating their anniversary with ASPE in November:

Bev Chen

1 year

Dawne Herrick

7 years

Steve Jones

9 years

Torrey Kitchens

1 year

Nick Natividad

9 years

Justin Ramm

2 years

Rob Westphal

11 years

Congratulations to each of you.

If you’re not already a member of the Seattle chapter, please consider joining.  This is a great venue to network with other engineers and vendors.

Gary Fox – VP Membership

ASPE Seattle

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T&S Brass

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