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Water in the NHS

Water is used extensively in all aspects of the NHS from construction to the daily workings of a hospital. Some treatments (e.g. renal dialysis, use of hydrotherapy pools) requiring substantial amounts of water.  The major likely uses for water are associated with the following:

  • catering
  • medical uses
  • sanitary applications (toilets, baths, showers, etc.)
  • central boiler plant and cooling
  • irrigation/grounds

Levels of hygiene have to be extremely high to ensure the prevention of Hospital Acquired Infections and there for ‘Ultra Clean’ water, which is specially treated is used to decontaminate surgical instruments and water outlets are provided in all clinical spaces.

Given the key role of water in hygiene and clinical processes, it is unsurprising that the amount of water a large acute hospital uses is comparatively high. Nonetheless, there is still scope for water savings.