Why Water Treatment is Essential for the Healthcare Industry

water treatment

Water is a vital resource in all settings

Water plays a critical role in the healthcare industry. From providing drinking water to patients and staff to performing medical procedures, water is an indispensable component of healthcare facilities. However, the quality of water used in healthcare facilities is of utmost importance, as it can directly impact patient health and safety. Not having a clear maintenance or treatment plan in place for your incoming water could end up putting your patients, staff and visitors at risk. Failure to comply with water treatment standards could also leave you with more than just a hefty fine. 

Waterborne diseases are a significant threat to patients and staff in healthcare facilities. Harmful bacteria and viruses can grow and thrive in untreated water, leading to the spread of infections and illnesses. Therefore, water treatment is essential for the healthcare industry to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses and maintain safe and clean water for patients and staff.

All healthcare settings should build the risk of waterborne diseases, including legionella, into their risk assessments. Your risk assessments should offer clear advice and guidance on reducing and preventing the risk of legionella and other diseases that could come from contaminated water. You should also ensure you store the contact details of your water treatment experts on your risk assessment so they can be contacted whenever necessary.  

What makes water essential in the healthcare industry?

Protects Patients and Staff from Waterborne Diseases

Waterborne diseases can have severe consequences for patients and staff in healthcare facilities. Contaminated water can lead to the spread of illnesses such as Legionnaires’ disease, hepatitis A, and gastroenteritis. Water treatment helps remove harmful bacteria and viruses from water, preventing the spread of waterborne diseases.

Ensures Compliance with Regulatory Standards

Healthcare facilities are subject to strict regulatory standards concerning water quality and safety. Failure to meet these standards can result in fines, legal action, and damage to the facility’s reputation. Water treatment helps healthcare facilities meet these standards, ensuring compliance with regulations.

Extends the Lifespan of Equipment

Water treatment helps prevent the build-up of scale and mineral deposits in equipment such as boilers, cooling towers, and sterilisers. These deposits can reduce the efficiency of equipment and lead to costly repairs or replacements. Water treatment can extend the lifespan of equipment, saving healthcare facilities money in the long run.

Improves the Taste and Odour of Water

Patients and staff expect clean, fresh-tasting water in healthcare facilities. Water treatment can help improve the taste and odour of water, enhancing the patient experience and promoting staff satisfaction.

The dangers of Legionella in your healthcare Facility

Legionella, a bacterium that thrives in water systems, poses significant dangers within healthcare facilities, particularly to vulnerable adults. This bacterium can be especially menacing in healthcare settings where patients often have weakened immune systems, making them more susceptible to infections. 

Legionella can spread through contaminated water droplets, such as those from showers, faucets, or cooling towers, putting patients, visitors, and healthcare workers at risk. Vulnerable adults, including the elderly and individuals with underlying health conditions, are particularly susceptible to Legionella-related illnesses. When exposed to Legionella-contaminated water, these individuals can develop severe respiratory infections, including Legionnaires’ disease, which often leads to pneumonia. These infections can be life-threatening for those with compromised immune systems, making it imperative for healthcare facilities to prioritise Legionella prevention and mitigation measures.

The illnesses caused by Legionella infections can range from mild flu-like symptoms to severe pneumonia. Legionnaires’ disease, the most severe form of infection, often presents with symptoms such as high fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. It can progress rapidly, leading to hospitalisation and, in severe cases, death. Additionally, another condition known as Pontiac fever, caused by the same bacterium, results in a milder illness with symptoms like fever and muscle aches. 

The threat of Legionella outbreaks in healthcare facilities not only endangers the health of vulnerable adults but also poses a significant challenge for healthcare providers striving to maintain a safe and hygienic environment for their patients. Therefore, robust water management protocols and routine testing for Legionella are crucial within healthcare facilities to safeguard both patients and staff from these potentially life-threatening infections.

These articles may also interest you: 

The Threat of Pathogenic Bacteria in Water

Improving Cooling Water Efficiency: Strategies for Optimising Performance

The Dangers of Legionella: What You Need to Know

Look after your water facility with Albion Water Treatment 

In conclusion, water treatment is essential for the healthcare industry to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses and maintain safe and clean water for patients and staff. Healthcare facilities must prioritise water treatment to ensure compliance with regulatory standards, protect patients and staff from waterborne diseases, extend the lifespan of equipment, and improve the taste and odour of water. By investing in water treatment, healthcare facilities can promote a safe and healthy environment for everyone.

Albion Water Treatment supports facilities nationwide to improve and maintain their water facilities. By providing regular maintenance and treatment as well as advice and guidance on how to protect your water, we aim to reduce the risk of waterborne diseases that could pose a threat to life. Our team of qualified and experienced engineers will support you and your facility to stay on top of the risk of legionella disease and other concerns that untreated water can bring. For more information, or to book a consultation with one of our experts, get in touch with the Albion Water Treatment team today.