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Emergency Water Storage Systems

An extensive variety of private and municipal Mission Critical Facilities (MCF’s) are requiring or considering emergency water supply systems. Most communication, computer, server, hospital, police, fire, or similar facilities must remain operational after a disaster, even after the loss of public utilities such as power, water or sanitary sewers. California acute care hospitals are under state mandate to install on-site equipment that will remain operational for 72 hours or more after the loss of any or all utilities.

Protecting the Stored Water Supply

For these types of installations, we always recommend an automatic water protection system utilizing an Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP). The primary threat to stored water is the bacteria and other contaminants that enter the tank through the air vents. Disinfectant is added directly into the water as it is recirculated back into the storage tank. Our systems comply with EPA and OSHA guidelines for stored water*.

An effective water treatment system at the source adds a layer of confidence protecting the health of the employees and patients. We offer a safe, highly effective disinfectant system featuring Bio-Hydrox BX-9465, the trade name for a proprietary formula based on Mineral Oxychloride (MxClyOz). It reacts with water molecules and releases reactive oxygen species (ROS) similar to ozone. Having an oxidation potential of 2.8-2.9 volts, it is comparable to ozone (2.07 volts) for disinfection and oxidization efficacy. It is non-hazardous and non-corrosive. Certifications include NSF, EPA, and FDA.

Bio-Hydrox BX-9465 Mineral Oxychloride

• BX-9465 is a modified Fenton chemistry, non-toxic, advanced oxidation formula of minerals chelated with oxygen and stabilized in a water-based solution.
• In drinking water treatment, mineral oxychloride has superior effectiveness to ozonation at a lower cost of operation.
• It is not affected by pH, does not require in situs activation from an external catalyst, and provides long residual protection.
• Low capital costs, minimal maintenance, and low energy consumption.
• Can be stored and has a shelf life of 6 months.
• Received NSF/ANSI 60 certification in 2013, approved as a drinking water treatment product for oxidation, disinfection, biofilm control, scale and corrosion control, flocculant/coagulant aid, algaecide/molluscide, bactericide, and biocide.
• Bio-Hydrox is the safest and most effective treatment method for eliminating Legionella and biofilm at normal water temperatures.

The Source of Concern

Water utilities and providers add residual disinfectants in the final stage of water treatment to protect miles and miles of pipeline. By the time the water reaches the end-users, the residual level can vary, and may or may not be sufficient to control Legionella, other viruses, bacteria, and microorganisms. Current and upcoming guidelines from CDC, Joint Commission, CMS, and other agencies require measurable disinfectant residuals. Chlorine, the most common residual disinfectant, is very reactive with most organic compounds and must be used in relatively large doses to maintain a residual effect sufficient to kill microorganisms. Indeed, according to the EPA “relatively high doses of chlorine (2–6 mg/L) were needed for continuous control of Legionella in water systems”. That exceeds levels used in swimming pools. An even greater drawback is that chlorine produces dangerous disinfection byproducts (DBP). Bio-Hydrox offers a superior, SAFER alternative to chlorine, monochloramines, and chlorine dioxide with NO DBP issues.

Another consideration is the municipal water quality after service is restored. There was a supply line break on a hospital in San Diego, and the building water supply became contaminated when service resumed.

Bacteriologic Communities

One of the causes of Legionella in building water distribution systems is the sloughing off of the bacteria from existing bio-slime or biofilm. You cannot reliably mitigate Legionella with a normal residual level of chlorine if there is biofilm in the piping and heat exchange equipment. Bio-Hydrox will eliminate all organic matter in the water, making the propagation of colonies of bacteria difficult. It is very effective in killing Legionella at normal water temperatures.

Experience and Expertise

Our first complete pumping and water treatment system was sold in 1997 for a data center in Corona, CA. This system consisted of a 20,000-gallon above-ground water storage tank, duplex automatic pressure boosting pumps, hydropneumatic tank, ozone generator with injection manifold, and circulating pump. Sometime within the first year or so of operation the water treatment system went off-line. Airborne pathogens entered the tank through its vent, resulting in several employees becoming ill from drinking the water. Once the system was returned to service, the water quality was restored.

The addition of an automatic water protection system is a relatively inexpensive proposition, especially in view of the potential liability of not having one. The employees in the Corona facility were relatively healthy. Hospitals serve patients with various illnesses, compromised immune systems, and life-threatening diseases. It is absolutely imperative that the domestic water is of dependable quality at all times, even under emergency conditions.

* The OSHA Technical Manual (OTM) Section III: Chapter 7 states “Water tanks that allow water to remain uncirculated for long periods can also promote growth of bacteria. Such tanks should be eliminated or designed to reduce storage time to a day or less.” Under-circulated, untreated water can allow E. Coli, giardia, cryptosporidium, etc. to breed.

According to the US EPA Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, Distribution System Issue Paper: Finished Water Storage Facilities, many agencies recommend 25-50% daily turnover rates, or a 50% reduction of water depth during a 24-hour cycle. They also recommend that the turnover “occur in one continuous period, rather than periodic water level drops throughout the day”.

Water Management Programs

The CDC guidelines regarding potable water in healthcare facilities will be extending to many additional organisms beyond Legionella. There is an emphasis on supplemental disinfection, maintaining a residual disinfectant level, regular monitoring, and mechanical system capability to provide disinfection.

ASHRAE/ANSI 188 requires a Water Management Program (WMP) documenting the results of all monitoring activities. From the CDC Toolkit: “Do not presume supplemental disinfection systems will control Legionella without an adequate WMP. Selecting or operating a supplemental disinfection system inappropriately may result in system damage or health hazards (e.g., disinfectant byproducts).”

We offer complete Water Management Programs through Legionella Specialties. The Legionella Specialties monthly service program provides:

• Baseline Technical Water Report in your facility showing the overall condition of your potable water system.
• Water Management Plan – This 25-page plan includes everything CMS requires to be in compliance.
• The supplemental disinfection system product is both NSF 60 certified as well as EPA certified for use in potable drinking water systems and does an excellent job at keeping mechanical systems free of all bacteria. It is also a gentle descaler that extends the life of your shower heads, faucets, etc. and significantly reduces scale build up in ice machines.
• Quarterly Testing- Quarterly Technical Water Reports provided to present to CMS showing them that your action plan is effective at preventing ALL bacteria from your potable water system.
• Warranty against the presence of Legionella: In the event Legionella is ever determined to be in the facility, it will be remediated at no additional charge.
• All of the above is included in one monthly charge.

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