every possible demand. Firstly, it is important to establish the quality of the pure water that is required. This will depend on the type of equipment being sterilised, and as such, the aforementioned HTM documents should be consulted for the specific required parameters. A system should then be selected that can not only deliver on those parameters without exception, but can also provide the flexibility to allow for parameters being tightened in future legislation. It is also important to consider the number of AER and WD units that the system will be supplying, since this will have an impact on the demand that the system will need to fulfil, i.e. the number of units will impact on the peak volume of water required from the water treatment system per

disinfection cycle. The regularity of the cycles required, and the peak draw rate for each unit, should thus be considered when making your selection. However, these figures will vary significantly, depending on the make and specification of each AER and WD unit, as well as the layout of the facility, and the type of connections to the supply pipework. Furthermore, one needs to take into account whether the system needs to include additional capacity, or the option for simple expansion to meet increased future needs or the purchase of additional disinfection units.

Performance and level of operation The required performance and level of operation of the water treatment system should also be considered, including the number of hours per day it will be operating for, and the level of uptime it must meet. This, in turn, will raise the question of whether N+1 redundancy design will be required – for example a duplex RO plant or twin ring pumps to achieve close to a 99 per cent uptime. The planned maintenance and upkeep of a system is also critical, especially in an environment where downtime is not an option. To avoid costly issues, regular planned preventative maintenance should be completed, and, where possible, regular sample testing undertaken at all stages to identify issues as quickly as possible. It is important to consider who will be carrying out the scheduled maintenance checks and servicing, and whether an in-house team or contracted water treatment specialist will be required.

Quality of incoming mains water Finally, the quality of the incoming mains water supply to the treatment system should be monitored and tracked, as this will also impact the requirements of the

outlet either monthly or quarterly, so that quality can be corroborated at every stage of the process. At VWT UK, we can provide assistance with assessing a facility and its needs so that we can help you to select, install, and commission, a reliable system that is fit for purpose. We also have a number of RO solutions, including the compact, heat- sanitisable Thermapure system, and OSIRIS, a fully integrated, packaged RO water treatment system that features automated self-disinfection. Furthermore, VWT’s

VWT UK’s OSIRIS range of fully integrated ‘packaged’ reverse osmosis water treatment systems was specifically designed and validated to meet requirements for washer-disinfectors and steam sterilisers used in sterile service facilities.

water treatment system itself. Ideally, it should be monitored for 6 to 12 months prior to specification and commissioning, so that the correct system can be selected and installed. However, it is equally important to consider a system’s flexibility, so that it can adapt to unprecedented changes in incoming mains water quality if required. As well as impacting on the choice of treatment system, the quality of the assessed incoming mains water may also highlight the need for pre-treatment measures to be installed ahead of the main water treatment system. In hard water areas, a water softener should be installed to improve the performance of the selected system, and remove from the water what is a potential food source for any bacteria. Carbon filtration should also be considered where there are high levels of free chlorine in incoming mains water, to ensure the longevity of the chosen system, and avoid deposits, scaling, or corrosion, especially if using an RO system and membrane.

Weekly sampling and testing Once the system is installed, it is then important to ensure that the final rinse water quality is sampled and tested weekly from the AER and WD appliances, in line with HTM guidance. The results of the total viable count (TVC) test should then be recorded and plotted to identify any trends in the findings, and to isolate unusual results. The HTM also recommends that a full test and analysis of every part of the water treatment and disinfection system is carried out yearly. However, we would suggest that it is good practice to take additional water samples from the water treatment system

AQUAVISTA cloud-based digital monitoring services can help to optimise water treatment systems in healthcare environments, to always ensure a consistent supply of optimum quality water. This includes prompting preventative maintenance, and remotely alerting maintenance staff to issues

to avoid system downtime. By implementing a system like AQUAVISTA, operators and healthcare workers can be assured of the seamless delivery of the high purity water required by the site at all times.


Kalpesh Shah

Kalpesh Shah, head of Sales – Process Water, at Veolia Water Technologies UK, manages VWT's offering for the Healthcare sector. With over 26 years’ experience at VWT UK, he has worked on both internal and international sales. In 2016, he was promoted to Industrial Sales manager. His role as Head of Sales – Process Water has now been expanded to include the healthcare sector, which covers renal dialysis applications for water treatment, and water treatment services for endoscopy/ decontamination applications.

February 2021 Health Estate Journal 51

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