February 17, 2019
Natural Gas Put to the Test

Photo: TECO Peoples Gas

A full-service laboratory, Florida Spectrum Environmental Services has been analyzing our water for more than 40 years.

Sponsored Report

Natural Gas Put to the Test

TECO Peoples Gas is helping a Florida laboratory install natural gas technology to support crucial water supply testing operation.

| 9/28/2018

Testing Florida’s water supply is serious business. Since 1974 and passage of the federal Safe Water Drinking Act to eliminate pollution from animal wastes, pesticides and wrongfully disposed chemicals, the state requires a battery of tests on the water we drink. A Clean Water Act also protects national lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands, with more state-required testing to verify pollution levels.

Florida Spectrum Environmental Services has been analyzing our water for more than 40 years. As a full-service testing laboratory, the company evaluates environmental contamination including analysis of groundwater, surface water, drinking water, soil and hazardous wastes. The lab operation relies on sophisticated atomic absorption, chromatography, spectrometry, microbiology and radiochemistry technology and instrumentation — the same equipment that is vulnerable to power outages but needed 24/7.

“We often have to operate like a first responder,” explains Lyle Johnson, president of Florida Spectrum Environmental Services.

“Many of our contracts with cities, counties and other organizations require daily and sometimes immediate processing of water samples, even during a hurricane or other type of natural disaster.”

There is no room for downtime, and it is often impossible to perform the testing at other locations because of holding time requirements — described as the time elapsed between when the sample is taken and tested.

While Florida Spectrum has outfitted its lab in Fort Lauderdale with a 70kW backup generator to meet client contract requirements, the generator is not large enough to provide power to the 20,000-square-foot facility’s testing technology, lights and air conditioning. During the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the lab was without power for five days. Shortly after recovery, Johnson started exploring options for a second generator. That is where TECO Peoples Gas stepped in with a new idea.

Natural gas was already working at the facility to serve the backup generator, but Johnson never considered using natural gas for space conditioning or continuous power generation. With micro-combined cooling, heat and power — or mCCHP — he could get both. Plus, mCCHP works around the clock producing measurable savings with efficient natural gas. A backup generator only works during an emergency while mCCHP provides benefit every day.

Four mCCHP units are being installed to provide Florida Spectrum with reliable air conditioning, power for all testing instrumentation and emergency backup power when needed. In addition, annual operating costs will be lowered, greenhouse gas emissions reduced and resiliency dramatically improved.

“MCCHP technology was almost a no-brainer for us,” says Johnson.

TECO Peoples Gas

For more information on mCCHP technology for your home or business, please contact Melanie Anthony at or visit and follow Florida Spectrum’s installation.

Tags: Energy & Utilities, Trending

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Miami Yacht Show to open in its new location
Miami Yacht Show to open in its new location

The 31st Miami Yacht Show, the city’s premier luxury yacht show, takes place from February 14 -18, 2019 in its new location at One Herald Plaza. See a video of preparation for the event.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Have you ever been the victim of a cyber crime?

  • No
  • Yes

See Results

Ballot Box