In the CSSD, water is used in a wide range of applications and, thus, has to meet a lot of different quality requirements. In a washer-disinfector, for example, water works as a solvent for the detergent and as disinfection agent. In a steam sterilizer deionized water is fed to the steam generator to produce pure steam for sterilization purposes. Process water is used as cooling medium for steam sterilizers and steam disinfectors.
Required water quality
The water quality directly influences the process result as well as the durability of surgical instruments and of the machinery. The necessary concentration of detergent is strongly dependent on the water quality. Residues and contaminants in the water for disinfection and in the rinsing water of a washer-disinfector or too high salt concentrations in the feed water for steam sterilization may cause coatings and corrosion on instruments, in the steam generator and in the machine chamber. Very hard process or drinking water used for cooling purposes is often the reason for calcification in heat exchangers or vacuum pump systems.
EN 285 proposes limits for the concentration of salts and metals in feed water for steam sterilization. Because a similar standard does not exist for washer-disinfectors, it is recommended to use these values of EN 285 for pure water in washing-disinfection, too.
Depending on the required water quality and the on the total water demand, several accepted processes such as reverse osmosis, electrodeionization or ion-exchange cartridges are available.
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