How To Maintain Top-Notch Hygiene In Water-Exposed Spaces
Water is known to carry a wide range of diseases due to bacteria and viruses that can survive in them. Because of this, it’s imperative to keep water-exposed spaces highly hygienic. This prevents or at least minimizes the chances of individuals becoming ill as a result of exposure.
As important as that is, it’s not always easy to do. Procedures may be put in place but soon quickly forgotten or abandoned. This article will inform you on how to maintain a sterile water-exposed environment.
This is where it all starts. The best way to get on top of maintaining top-notch hygiene is to regularly inspect the area. Depending on the type, size, and utility of the space, there will be different methods and degrees of inspection.
Smaller spaces, or spaces that are mainly for personal use, can do with simple sensory examination. You would primarily use your eyes and nose to review the area and identify any abnormalities. You’ll be looking for any signs of fungal, bacterial, or mold growth as well as foul smells. For larger spaces, or industrial, outdoor, or commercial locations, test and sample kits can be used.
Growth is usually accompanied by discoloration that can be easily distinguished from paint or whichever material it’s present on. They typically start from the corners or edges where water easily settles. Usually, if you can see growth, then you won’t need to do a “smell test”. However, since not seeing growth doesn't always guarantee that there is none, once the area smells off then visually imperceptible growth may be present.
Cleaning and Disinfection
The next step after inspection is cleaning and disinfection. However, this doesn’t mean that this step should be skipped if you don’t find any contamination -- skipping it is how you proliferate such situations. This step should also be done routinely.
The easiest way to maintain such a routine is to establish a strict schedule. Your schedule should facilitate cleaning taking place as often as the space requires - at least once weekly. If you’re at a company and guidelines have already been issued by state or private authorities, follow their guidelines closely.
Put someone in charge of the schedule and the cleaning and disinfecting process. They should dispense information on how to clean the area, what chemicals to use and in which order, where the chemicals can be easily found, and how to handle them. Laying out such procedures makes it easier for personnel to follow cleaning schedules, thereby facilitating greater compliance.
Install and Manage Drainage
Since water can settle and cause mold and further contamination, we need to have methods in place to prevent that. Drains are effective in removing excess water that could become stagnant and cause issues. Without drains, we’d end up wading in unsafe water.
The first order of business is to know what type of drain you need. A professional can inspect the installation site to confirm the available options. Usually, you can choose from a variety of point drains, strip drains, french drains, and others. Strip drains are typically better than point drains since they are more efficient and easier to clean.
Once you have proper drainage installed, it’s important that you conduct regular maintenance. Drainage systems can be affected by mineral residue, tree roots, and other elements that cause cracks or blockages. Blocked pipes cause sewage back-ups that lead to more damage and unhealthy conditions.
Address Leaks Quickly
Leaks happen when channeled water breaks through its medium and ends up where it’s not meant to. Whether it flows from pipes or drainage systems, it contributes to ponding water - which quickly becomes a health concern. Quickly fixing leaks decreases the possibility of water becoming seriously contaminated and causing illness.
In most cases, you’re going to need help from a professional. Depending on the scale of the leak, you may need more support to get it fixed. You may also need more money for labor and equipment, and the process to address it could be extensive.
Leaks can sometimes be hard to pinpoint. However, if a leak has been around for a while, there are ways to find out. One such tell is the growth of fungus in a particular area. You may also notice that the surrounding structure starts to weaken.
The importance of maintaining top-notch hygiene in water-exposed spaces cannot be overstated. It’s critical to the health and safety of everyone who uses or traverses the area. It all starts with performing routine inspections that enable you to identify developing or existing problems. From there, you can clean and disinfect the area to make it safe again. Installing proper drainage systems, and monitoring them to detect compromises, also contributes to preventing a variety of issues. Feel free to use this guide to ensure that your space meets the highest hygiene standards.