Good Water Hygiene
Good water hygiene preserves the health of water systems, including drinking water supplies, domestic water systems, swimming pools, to name a few. Unhygienic water can cause serious illness or death, and in some parts of the world there is little understanding of hygienic water practices and no safe, clean water available.
Most people associate legionella with water hygiene, which is hazardous, however there is a lot more that needs to be considered and monitored. Maintaining good water hygiene practices is crucial to protect buildings and the people who utilise them. In places such as hospitals or hospices, that offer care to vulnerable people, having safe and functional water systems in place is vital.
Having safe drinking water readily available to us is something we take for granted but it is still a huge problem worldwide and a top priority for people working in the water safety sector. Waterborne diseases, infections, bacteria, and viruses pose a huge risk to human health and can be spread incredibly easily through our water systems.
Water hygiene involves processes such as water disinfection, wastewater treatment, cooling water treatment and legionella control. All water hygiene processes must adhere to strict regulations and guidelines to ensure our water is clean and safe.
Disinfection is the destruction, removal, or deactivation of pathogenic microorganisms. The most commonly used method of water disinfection is boiling water, which we all use on a regular basis, however this cannot be used for large quantities of water. Disinfection can be done chemically or physically such as with heat or UV light. Chlorine, one of the best-known halogen elements, is most popular when it comes to water disinfection and can be applied for the deactivation of most microorganisms. Bromine, iodine, hydrogen peroxide and ozone are also all used in water disinfection processes.
Cooling Tower Water Treatment System
A cooling tower is used to cool water using evaporation or conduction. A treatment system removes any impurities from the water and will vary depending on what type of cooling tower you have alongside other variables. It controls things such as alkalinity, organic matter, sulphates, and hardness of water, among other things, in order to keep the water safe. A typical treatment system will consist of filtration/ultrafiltration, clarification, chemical feed, ion exchange/softening, and automated monitoring. Some systems will require extra customisation and features added on, however that depends on the needs of the system.
Also known as sewage treatment, wastewater treatment removes impurities from water before it is released back into the environment. This treatment helps to avoid harm to human health, the environment, and the facilities systems and equipment, as well as avoid fines or legal action for improper discharge of wastewater. Some of the most common technologies a typical wastewater treatment will consist of are, clarification, disinfection, softening, special processes and distribution. An effective and well-designed system should be able to accommodate fluctuations in use and demand.
Legionella bacteria can cause a severe form of pneumonia known as Legionnaire’s disease, so it is important to control and manage legionella in water in order to prevent any harm to human health. One method of treating legionella is through temperature control. Legionella bacteria thrive in temperatures between 20 and 45 degrees Celsius so hot water should be kept above 50 degrees Celsius and cold water below 20 degrees Celsius. Regular water testing should be carried out alongside temperature control in order to have a record of steps taken to prevent legionella bacteria spreading and maintain the system. Testing water will also ensure that any steps taken to prevent legionella are working and that it is not multiplying in one specific area. Flushing water systems that aren’t used regularly will also help to eliminate risks of stagnant water and any consequential legionella or bacteria growth.