The safety of our drinking water is, of course, of paramount importance. Water testing is carried out every day by water companies to ensure the protection of public health, and this process is overseen by the independent regulator, the Drinking Water Inspectorate. However, there are many risks and factors that can affect water quality by the time it reaches your company’s taps and outlets, meaning that water testing is an important part of your facilities management tasks.
What Affects Water Quality?
There are a number of factors that can affect the quality of your company’s water, including microbials, chemicals and physical contaminants.
Microbiological contamination includes the legionella bacteria as well as E.coli, salmonella and other bacteria and viruses that have the potential to cause people problems, especially those with weakened immune systems.
The most common chemical in water is limescale, which is found in hard water areas. Other chemical contaminants can come from corrosion of metal pipes and dissolved solids which have the potential to break down into compounds such as hydrogen, phosphate, iron, and biofilm growth that would allow bacteria to multiply. Physical contaminants include dirt and debris that has fallen into the water system.
One visible way of knowing there are contaminants in your water is if there is discolouration, although in the UK this is a very rare occurrence. For example, brown or yellowish water can be an indication there’s a burst pipe that has disturbed sediment; blue or green water can be an indication that old copper pipes need to be replaced; or if your water has tiny particles in it, it could be a sign that old washers need replacing. If there is any discolouration of your water, use bottled water for drinking until you’ve had an opportunity to test your water, find the source of the problem and fix it.
Where Do You Need to Test Your Water?
When it comes to testing the quality of your water, it’s not just the water in the tap that is in question. If there are water features or bodies of water in your grounds, such as ponds, streams or lakes, or if you have a spa or swimming pool, these will also be tested. Our water testers will take samples from your hot and cold water systems and your water tanks. Our experienced engineers will take great care to ensure water samples do not get contaminated, using sterile equipment and appropriate PPE.
If you need to test the water on your premises, or would like to book a legionella risk assessment, please contact us for a quote.