Just wondered if anyone has had any issues with the water regulations...?
After a recent inspection, as I suspected, and flagged up last year, it seems we are in breach. Immediate issues are with lab taps and dishwasher. Having just picked myself up from being asked "Do you need a dishwasher?" "I was then hit with do you need sinks in the labs?"
Seems we need to be fluid Cat 5 compliant, and domestic dishwashers are only cat 3. I've looked at CLEAPSS and for once they are as much use as a chocolate fireguard with just reams of regulations but no practical real life solutions. Most valves I've seen are only Cat 4 compliant.
I'm also very aware it shouldnt be my job to sort this out, but also very aware that without my input we will no doubt be given a Well and a Bucket.
Anyone who has managed to get their full dept Cat 5 compliant please do shout up.
I've raised this at our Health and Safety meeting as I wasn't sure about the situation, we have regular inspections of water temperature and flow from taps by a contractor who has never mentioned anything about the type of taps. Our Bursar and Site Manager are going to ask them. I read the CLEAPSS guidance and got the impression that existing fittings installed in accordance with previous regulations should be okay. When I find out more I'll let you know.
Its a funny one - fittings installed pre July 1999 don't *need* to meet the regs but more and more local authorities are using bylaws and insisting they are ALL to regulation standard. It's sods law that we had a refurb in 2000, 6 months after the cut off, so have to comply. I honestly can't see how we can run effectively AND meet the regs...
We are currently in this scenario.
We have a main incomer NRZ valve for the entire department and, despite what my interpretation of the rule book is, the inspector said that was good enough *if it is regularly serviced and inspected*. In addition, all taps within the non-return zone are marked 'not drinking water'; all hoses have to be cut an inch or so shorter that the maximum overflow height of any sink; outlets from stills, condensers etc have to be supported above the sink in the same way; the dishwasher has a non-return valve fitted on its supply .
What it means is that we can continue to do what we need to do without too much expense (tap replacement for ones without permanent hose tails alone would have been £15000, Miele commercial dishwashers are CAT 4 or 5 rated but the cheapest we found was £2500 to fit!)
One potential solution we were looking at before the inspector came was one big break tank and a pumped system (simple gravity fed is NOT a good option) - the main incomer into the break tank which provides CAT 5 conformity then the pump feeds the entire department so we have good and fairly stable water pressure - for the potential capacity the pump would not be cheap but it would allow the entire department to continue as-is.
We are currently working on the inspector's much cheaper suggestions instead!
What is interesting is that different boards seem to have different interpretations of the regs ... Anglian Water seem to be slightly less strict than Yorkshire Water for instance.
Outside the Science department ... the supply doesn't feed the entire school.
If for instance the whole school was one building with a branched riser feeding a science department distributed over multiple floors that would cause more complicated plumbing shenanigans.
Of course you can eat or drink in the department - not the labs or prep areas but we have staff areas which are perfectly fine for eating and drinking in which are within the science department 'boundaries'.
Having been off since March 23rd, I came back in today to a bit of a surprise...
Our lovely 12 place dishwasher has gone, and in it's place is a partially plumbed in Industrial Pub-Style glass washer. Designed for the likes of Pint glasses, totally unsuitable for much of our glassware, and less than half the capacity we had.
Next I notice our taps... Every tap in every lap has had it's pointy nozzle removed! So not only do we have no way to attach a hose for a Liebig or Buchner etc - as soon as the tap is turned on its like a shower in a wet room.
If you're glasswasher will only wash pint pots then set up a micro brewery and make use of it
Ask where the pointy bits went off the taps. You could always only put them back on when needed with the appropriate hoses and then removed.
Also worthwhile might be asking if you can do one of the online Leigionella courses to update you on aerosol and water splash infections. If they say NO then ask to see all the paperwork for when the caretaker/cleaner/whoever comes around and flushes the system, and their RA for when they do it.
Our weekly Legionella flush takes 2 people 2 days to do the entire school, and then another afternoon of paperwork. And then we do it all again next week.
They are going to be doing our taps imminently. However they did include me in the discussions and I have designated 2 taps in each room that need to be able to take a tube. One for quick fit and one for eyewashing. No idea if they will comply, but I've done my bit!