The recently published British Standard Code of Practice, BS 8580-2:2022 which deals with risk assessments for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other waterborne pathogens, is an opportunity for anyone conducting water safety risk assessments, to gain a far better understanding of the risk factors seen in areas susceptible to infection from P.aeruginosa. This understanding can therefore help to identify the risk factors for this specific bacterium, while reducing the risk in those areas.
It has long been established that a water outlet is the prime breeding ground for P.aeruginosa to flourish, particularly in healthcare environments. This is usually because handbasins are often used for everything other than just washing hands (think emptying coffee cups, mop buckets, rinsing of cleaning cloths...you get the picture). The introduction of robust hand washing processes as well as step-by-step cleaning regimes all contribute to reducing the spread of this nasty pathogen. But there is no single, quick fix solution to combat this. However detailed and well thought out the measures put in place by a Water Safety Group are, there will always be external elements which can bypass any safety procedures put in place. Whilst a human element exists in this environment, there will always be a margin of risk. The updated British Standard 8580-2 now extends outside of healthcare and covers general risk assessment for all premises and non-healthcare. Swimming pools, spas, hotels even ornamental fountains.
So, what about the outlet itself? Healthcare sites up and down the country have utilised various mechanisms to mitigate the proliferation of P.aeruginosa in tap outlets and showers; thermal flushing, chemical treatment of water, silver/copper ionisation and Point of Use (POU) filters. In some cases all of these methods are used and yet the problem still exists. The installation of POU filters for example, is often likened to a "sticking plaster remedy"; one which merely captures the problem but doesn't improve the situation or prevent it from occurring over and over again.
In a recent interview, Nigel Richardson, Authorising Engineer (Water) and owner of Collaton Consultancy and one of the contributors responsible for the creation of BS 8580-2, said,
"Another consideration is being dynamic in your response. If a remedial approach has failed several times; try something different; you clearly haven’t resolved the root cause of the issue. Doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity. Yet it happens so regularly."
The introduction of the Challis Ag+ Sentinel™ Mesh Technology, has gone some way to providing a product line that not only complies with existing HSE ACOP L8 guidance but also the updated BS-8580-2. Independent microbial testing has shown the efficacy of our patented silver/copper mesh on bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and, early trials within NHS trust hospitals have shown such a decline during their regular periodic testing to the point of it being 'untraceable'.
The simplicity of installation and longevity of lifespan (90+ days), in tandem with potential savings of up to 50% when compared to POU filters, means that as a result, our products are now being introduced as part of their water safety protocols throughout their estates.
For more information, get in touch with one of our advisors today.