Water quality; staining of sterile packaging; soil detection devices

March 2013 – CS Solutions.

Water quality; staining of sterile packaging; soil detection devices

by Ray Taurasi

Q I work in a small rural hospital in New Hampshire. We only have one OR and one sterilizer and no automated washers. All of our instruments and other reprocessable items are manually cleaned. I have noticed at times, especially during the winter months, our tap water has a cloudy color. Since we use tap water to clean our instruments and to mix with our chemical disinfectants, I was wondering if the water is safe to use or if it can damage our instruments.

A In the winter time in cold regions such as New Hampshire, the water coming into the hospital is extremely colder than the inside temperature and your water may have a milky or cloudy appearance. The reason for this is that cold water holds more oxygen than warmer water does.

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