With their large and often complex water supply systems, hospitals and healthcare estates are potential breeding grounds for waterborne pathogens. Over many years instances of Legionnaires’ disease have regularly made the news headlines and its devastating impact is exemplified in the outbreak at Stafford District General Hospital in 1985, when a total of 68 confirmed cases were treated and 22 patients died.
Despite the lessons that could – and should – have been learned from this tragedy over the last 30 or so years, new cases of Legionnaires’ disease are still occurring with alarming regularity. Preventative action is therefore vital and one way that better water management and hygiene can be achieved is through the use of a Building Energy Management System (BEMS). Central to the ability of a BEMS to communicate water quality data from devices is cutting edge monitoring and management software like Trend’s IQ®VISION.
IQ®VISION can monitor and inform about a range of conditions relating to the status of the water system, and alert designated personnel if quality conditions fall outside pre-defined levels. By monitoring systems such as metering, tank level and temperature, backflow prevention valves, filters and pumps, a BEMS provides a clearer picture of what’s going on.
When it comes to water safety, efficiency and management in healthcare estates, the two key documents are HTM 04-01 and HTM 07-04. The former is considered the primary reference point for every aspect of water systems in relation to hygienic operation, while the latter covers best practice for water management and efficiency. However, the two documents can sometimes seem at odds with each other.
Bob Blincowe, Strategic Account Manager UK Healthcare at Trend, explains, ‘HTM 04-01 states that water stored in tanks must be turned over every 12 hours to guarantee a fresh supply. It also says that in the event that water tanks have gone over-temperature, the water must be dumped and taken out of the system completely. Conversely, HTM 07-04 suggests that this water should be moved into a recovery tank and used for activities such as toilet flushing and laundry – reducing overall wastage and cost.’
Given this conflicting information, there obviously needs to be a much clearer position regarding how to deal with potentially contaminated water. With water hygiene and efficient management now two of the big challenges facing healthcare estate professionals, more advice about how a BEMS can help achieve these twin objectives is welcomed.
Find out more
Trend is exhibiting at Healthcare Estates on 9th-10th October at Manchester Central, on stand D38 where its team of experts will be available to talk through how BEMS technology can have a positive impact. If you’re not attending but would like to find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call him on 07976 583940, or request a visit
Alternatively, please contact the Trend team by clicking here.