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Understanding Water Quality: A Guide to Water Testing

Understanding Water Quality: A Guide to Water Testing


Building owners and operators have a responsibility to ensure that the water on their premises is safe to use. Water testing allows water quality to be monitored which is especially important in industrial and healthcare sectors where water quality is critical to the health and safety of people.


Why is water testing quality so important?


Water testing plays a significant role in ensuring that building owners, operators and tenants remain compliant and provide safe drinking water. Water testing is especially necessary in commercial buildings such as offices.


Water testing allows the responsible person to ensure that the current water system at the premises is operating effectively. It also ensures;

  • The company can track changes over time.

  • Check the current regime to monitor compliance is still effective.


What contributes to the quality of drinking water?


1.Water temperature-


Water temperature can affect water quality as water that is sat in poorly designed water systems can become stagnant and change to the temperature in its surroundings.


  • What temperature should I keep my water at?


The HSE gov website recommends that any cold-water storage tanks should be kept at a temperature of 20° - with testing to take place annually as per HSG274 part 2. Recordings should be kept of the temperature to accurately determine changes over time.


The HSE gov website also recommends that any hot water storage tanks should be - checked at the sentinel valve. The recommended temperature is at least 50°. The water running to the TMV should be at least 50°.


2.Microbes -


How can Microbes affect water quality?


E coli can be present in water and lead to illness. If there is E.coli present in water then then this is a sign that Legionella pneumophilia may have entered the water system, all of which can cause infection in humans especially those with a weak immune system.


The effects of ageing pipes on water quality.


As pipes age they become prone to rust and scale, compounds such as iron and phosphate from within the pipe are released into the water - it can influence the water quality and also allow bacteria to grow and multiply. It is essential to check your water pipes regularly.


How to know what to test for?


Water sampling helps to identify if any harmful substances or disease-causing organisms are present in your water system. It enables you to monitor water quality and can alert you to any potential water quality issues before they become a problem. Regular water sampling helps to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements, reduces liability risks and protects your brand's reputation.


· Legionella - A disease that can cause legionnaires disease.

· Drinking Water

· TVC (Total Viable count) - Test for the level of microorganisms in a water system. If there is a high concentration this indicates that the water system may be suffering from a biofilm contamination.

· Pseudomonas Aeruginosa

· Closed system chemistry

· Closed System bacteria - Closed circuit systems can develop a microbial biofilm on the pipe surface if left can allow many different species of bacteria to develop.

· Effluent - liquid waste or sewage


How does water testing work?


Water testing usually involves taking a sample of water from the site, following a specific and controlled procedure within a specific timescale and conditions.

In some cases, on site water testing is possible using onsite lateral flows or calibrated thermometers, however Laboratory analysis ensures that results are accurate and precise.

Absolute water compliance ensures all sampling is carried out following strict processes and are taken to a required UKAS accredited laboratory for analysis. Samples are interpreted by our experienced staff and issued to our customers with appropriate recommendations, where required.


How often should you carry out water testing?

Water testing frequency should be determined by the potential risks. Water testing is an integral part of water treatment programmes. It is always best to allow a professional body to carry out the testing. Absolute water compliance are a trusted company to carry out water testing, with over 20 years’ experience in the industry, get in touch today.


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