Importance of Safe Water Supply in Hospitals

Hospitals require water supply at an average of 400 liters per bed per day. This includes cold water, hot water, soft water, distilled water and ultrapure water for medical purposes.

It is also required for cooling systems of equipment, steam generation, fire fighting, plants and gardening.

If not tested for quality and not treated adequately, water can be a dangerous source of both the chemical pollutants as well as coli form and other bacteria, and can be a serious health hazard to staff as well as the patients.

Hospital engineering services must test the quality of water obtained from the source (municipal supply, bore well, etc.) initially and at fixed periodicity (monthly) for chemical and bacterial content and to ascertain the treatment required to render it fit for human consumption.

Further, it must again be tested periodically at the user’s end (different wards/ departments) to confirm the adequacy of treatment and portability of water (See annexure 3). A record of the test reports and treatment given should be maintained.

Water requirement for specialized purposes such as dialysis, OT and Path lab is to be of the specified purity levels (ultrapure water) and need to be provided from RO water plant or distillation plant.

Additional measures to ensure safe water quality are:

i. Keeping the water tanks (overhead as well as underground) tightly closed and locked to make them dust proof, insect proof and inaccessible to birds and animals

ii. Periodic cleaning of the tanks as per a planned schedule (every two months)

iii. Ensuring that there is no leakage in the distribution system

iv. Ensuring that the distribution pipelines are not running in close vicinity of the sewerage system.