Water Filtration Systems in Medical & Laboratory Facilities

Water Filtration Systems in Medical & Laboratory Facilities

January 15, 2018
written by: Audrey Wilson

Having just installed a new autoclave at a research laboratory, water filtration systems have been on our mind!

Laboratory sterilizing systems almost always require the use of a deionized water systems. Water that is used to sterilize equipment needs to go through a filtration system—obviously this is an important component for sanitary and accurate lab work. Deionized systems remove impurities from water (specifically mineral ions) through an ion exchange process.

It’s not always as simple as drawings would have you believe. We pulled together some tips to help when installing these types of systems.

Find the right pipe.
First and foremost, you want to clarify the type of piping required by the engineer as there are several types you can use. A quality installer will know to never introduce metallic piping with DI system, because the DI system is removing mineral ions and using metal pipes would reintroduce charged ions back into the water.

 Plan ahead.
Specialized parts for deionized systems can have longer lead times for delivery. Include long lead times with your schedule for procuring/ordering parts and equipment so you’re able to accurately predict installation timeframe. Additionally, in an active lab, it’s important to coordinate demolition, installation and tie in to the system during off-hours. Consistent advanced scheduling with building engineers is a must if you’re working in harmony with regular lab operations. We also had to account for the time required for decommissioning and decontamination of the space to rid the area of residual pathogens.

Install with care.
Avoid overheating the pipe during the fusing process and watch your hanger spacing. Additionally, ensure that proper labeling guidelines are followed. Inspectors want to see these water systems appropriately labeled, sometimes even desiring labels on the walls in the surrounding area in addition to the direct application to the pipe.

Back flow prevention and testing.
Engineered drawings don’t always account for what means of back flow prevention is already in place in these types of spaces. Inspectors may want to see that the existing system is working properly if a new back flow prevention solution isn’t required.

Check your existing conditions.
When improving existing spaces, it’s imperative to know more about the conditions in place. Not only will getting to know the site and systems save you time on the front end, but inspectors may require existing conditions to be upgraded when they come through.

Deionized water systems are just one kind of system you might see in medical facilities. Others include water softener treatments, reverse osmosis filtration, and ultraviolet water purification.

For more information on water filtration systems, deionized systems, medical, dental, or laboratory construction services, contact us at info@snyderbuilding.com.