Without regular water system sanitization, manufacturing and high purity water distribution systems run a high risk of microbial growth. For systems that have never had a water system sanitization, microbial growth (biofilm) is not just a risk, it’s a certainty. If enough time elapses and enough growth is present, the water system may be potentially beyond remediation, as it would be impossible to return the pipes to a clean state.
Biofilm forms in water systems when bacteria attach themselves to the interior walls of water pipes, and then continue to attach to each other. Over time, the colonies grow and add other microbes and substances to the mix. As more layers are added, a plaque-like coating forms inside the system, contaminating water and throwing off testing samples.
Water pipe sanitization is especially important when new plumbing is installed in buildings. Water system sanitization is also important after repairs are made to the system, which can introduce foreign contaminants.
System design is very important. Dead legs should be limited to under 5 times the pipe diameter. Where a 90 degree turn is needed, this should be accomplished via 45 degree fittings in conjunction. A return loop should be used and a minimum return flow velocity of 3 feet per second needs to be achieved. Proper selection of sterilization methods such as 254 nanometer UV lights and ultra-filtration will help combat system contamination. Storage should be carefully designed with use of a conical bottom tank with spray balls or bars installed with a hydro-phobic vent filter to avoid contamination. On the drain line a trapped line with a hydrophilic filter should be used. FLAT BOTTOM tanks will lead to a potential contamination issue and will also greatly increase the time needed to flush out sanitant during a system sanitization. Piping material is an important consideration, leaching characteristics and binding methods and practices need to reviewed carefully. Crevices or unsmooth transitions in piping are breeding grounds for microbial growth and contamination.
Minncare Cold Sterilant
There are a number of chemical options available for the sterilization of various types of water systems. For reverse osmosis membranes and systems, Minncare Cold Sterilant is often used. It’s a peracetic acid solution that can serve high purity medical, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing water markets. For many jobs, standard bleach or hydrogen peroxide will serve the purpose. When Minncare is used a typical rule of thumb is 1gsallon of Minncare for every 100 gallons of water.
Contact Absolute Water Technologies to see how we can help you stay clean and safe with a water system sanitization.