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Controlling the bacteriological quality of water

Controlling the bacteriological quality of water

Water acts as a vehicle for pathogenic agents and microorganisms can be found in the water supply. In the healthcare sector the microbiological quality of water varies depending on its intended use.

“Clean” water is intended for surgical hand washing, gastroscopes and most clinical care services and "ultra-clean" water is intended for areas such as burns units, reconstructive surgery units and for rinsing bronchoscopes.

To control the microbiological quality of water, a quality procedure must be established to provide guaranteed "clean" water for users involving the microbiological monitoring of the water, the treatment process, the maintenance and servicing procedures and the distribution system.

How the treatment process performs is linked to the service and maintenance of these systems. When procedures are followed correctly, these treatments should provide water that is continually bacteriologically controlled.

Microfiltration at the point-of-use is a highly effective treatment to provide “ultra-clean” water. There are two types of point-of-use membrane filtration using either hollow fibre or flat membranes.

Membrane technology is well recognised within the water treatment industry for water purification. Typical applications include municipal water plants, Endoscopy and Dialysis for the removal of harmful pathogens.

Each BIOFIL filter has an integrated polyethylene hollow fibre membrane with a water filtration threshold of 0.1 microns absolute-rated. The water requiring treatment passes through the filter due to the pressure difference on either side of the membrane. Bacteria and any particles in suspension larger than 0.1 microns are retained permanently on the external surface of the membrane which reduces clogging.

The large filtration surface area compared to equivalent flat membrane point-of-use filters (1,400cm² versus approximately 500cm²) means that a larger volume of water can be filtered. As a result, the flow rate at the point-of use is improved and there is less risk of air-locks. BIOFIL anti-bacterial filters are very compact and are suitable for all types of mixers and taps.

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