Opened in 2010 this NHS facilities offers specialist services for elderly patients physical and mental health issues and is part of a Midlands Healthcare Trust. The ward always suffered with poor water quality and with the water’s visual appearance likened to mud. Remedial works were recommended and a full chemical flush of the network was delivered by a specialist water treatment contractor.
“We were sold from the start as science doesn’t lie and it stopped the recurrent network failures we were seeing”.
Despite the remedial works the predominately low carbon pressed steel pipes continued to suffer multiple leaks and the 4 x Grundfos invertor pump sets required regular repairs. Further remedial costs for a major leak and the early failure of the boiler underlined the continued failure of the chemical water treatment regime. Total costs of these remedial works alone were over £25,000 with the water treatment company’s only offer of another chemical flush.
Given the regularity and cost of the breakdowns the maintenance contractor decided to look for alternative methods of water treatment. Their interest in VDI2035 and chemical-free water treatment had been spiked on social media. “We were sold from the start as science doesn’t lie and with the recurrent network failures and the faith the client has in us as a contractor it was an easy sell and site to trial this on”. Stated the Site Contracts Manager “The boiler manual also had VDI2035 as the water quality standard and required a conductivity of under 400 micro siemens which from experience was not achievable with chemicals”.
A reaction tank and demineralisation unit were installed side stream to the LTHW system with the contractor also buying a Protector Prime to complete the recommended system rinses.
The installation was performed by the contractor and a starting conductivity of 1800 was recorded. 8 weeks after installation a rinse operation was completed to help accelerate the removal of the heavy particulate from the system. Given the extent of the debris a further rinse was completed 4 months later to maintain the downward trend of the conductivity.
In just a year of the install of the solution the water quality had moved from 1800 to 290 uS/cm and visually the water quality was now clear with no smell. During this time the constant component breakdowns and regular pipe leaks due to poor water quality had also ceased.
Any maintenance to the wards required sensitivity to patients suffering predominately with Alzheimer’s. The ease of install and operation of the system was markedly different from the disruption of a chemical flush. With AHUs and 30 zones in the underfloor heating the chemical water treatment required access to the wards for its workforce to complete the flushing. In comparison IWTM's install and rinse of the system took place in the plant room meaning no impact was felt ward side.
With VDI2035 virtually achieved the annual cost of anodes and resin is just £202. The maintenance contractor is now able to deliver the simple PPM’s the additional cost and disruption to site of specialist water treatment companies is no longer required.
“Installing the IWTM chemical free solution means we no longer have call outs on poor water quality, no pump failures and the leaks have all disappeared giving us an easier life and enhancing our reputation with the client” the contractor said before adding, “If IWTM's Chemical free solutions had been specified at new build the savings to the trust would have been at least 5 times less than the remedial works with none of the disruptions”.
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