How reducing water usage can mean fewer germs

Paul Musgrove from CONTI+ considers the benefits of automated systems for water management, and how improved management of water flow can reduce infection risks as well as reducing water usage


urprisingly very few sites in the UK, whether in healthcare, education or leisure, have a fully controlled water management system. Usually, sites are managed through a unique mix of procedures, many of which rely upon significant levels of human recording and manual interventions. These include weekly, monthly and quarterly procedures to safeguard the system, possibly including manual flushing to keep water from stagnating, but at less effective low temperatures in order to avoid scalding patients.

The goal for any water management system is to ensure the water is clean and safe with no or little biofilm present. Remove biofilm and you can provide a water environment without harmful germs and bacteria, which is what we are all aiming for. A big concern for building managers currently is relying on people to deliver part of the maintenance routine, such as medical staff running taps and showers in a medical area, instead of estates teams – putting added pressure on an already demanding daily routine. Manual systems can be refined using consultants to audit procedures and make recommendations applicable to specific environments. Alternatively building management systems can integrate shower, tap and urinal products with an automated system. A complete solution is also available as a Water Management System, for example the CNX system from CONTI+, specifically designed for complex environments. Such systems connect all taps, showers, and urinals into one system automating the process of a regular hygienic flush whilst recording all actions in a simple report. Thermostatic flushing at high temperatures can even be run with peace of mind that the inbuilt failsafe security will eliminate any scalding incidents. Human error is removed


from the situation along with time consuming manual intervention, all of which has a high cost. Facilities managers can access systems remotely across multiple sites, giving them a complete overview and comprehensive reporting. Naturally, developing a solution for a new build is much easier than retrofitting in an existing building, however nothing is impossible if the benefits are of real value. The situation needs to be explored by clients/designers and installers to be sure of the solution before proceeding. The client must be sure to understand what the advantages really are, and what reports and functions they will receive. Only by engaging an expert supplier early in the process is this possible.

Key questions for clients are – what do you really need to achieve, do you have a complete and realistic view of how the system is currently operating, how does the current system impact employees’ time, and what reporting is required?

A current project we are involved with includes around 10 different people in the client’s organisation, working together with us to develop the system. There is a common goal to reduce the spread of germs whilst running a reliable and efficient system which eliminates staff intervention. In addition to the intensive planning process for implementation, there are also the daily operational considerations to consider. Hospital management needs to decide who should have access, what level of access they need, and needs to ensure that an approved leader is assigned. Although many water management activities are led by compliance needs, many are just simple caretaking processes that an automated system can manage reliably and with ease.

Paul Musgrove is the UK development manager at CONTI+


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36