How to reduce
water consumption and yet maintain, or even increase, effectiveness
during decontamination showers (yet maintain, or even increase, the
effectiveness of a decontamination shower ) is a challenge that has
recently taken a significant step forward.
new ultra-effective decontamination shower system has just been
developed by one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of components for
cleanrooms and high containment facilities for use in the chemical,
biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
PBSC has developed
an innovative ultrasonic fogging system based upon the company’s
proven de-contamination shower, which, although highly-effective,
uses a lot of water. By creating a fogging system in conjunction
with a soft spray, PBSC has managed to significantly reduce water
consumption whilst maintaining effective levels of decontamination.
This has significant economic implications for end-users in terms of
cost, and benefits for the environment in
Decontamination fluids, cleansing liquids and
sterilization agents can be injected at controlled ratios within the
fogging device to enable the fog to quickly saturate the operative’s
air-suit. The water then forms droplets and rolls off to be
collected for contained disposal. The chemicals used can also
include wetting agents, surfactants and sanitizers, but this will
depend upon the process and the facility within which the fogging
shower is installed. However, the end result is that there will
always be maximum contact of water/chemical with minimum
volume/quantity of water to drain.
With the fogging
performing 90%+ of the decontamination process, the amount of
contaminated water collected for controlled disposal is kept to an
absolute minimum. For example, water usage in a conventional
pressure spray is c.250 litres per minute; however, with a soft
spray this can be reduced to c.40 litres per minute, plus 2 litres
per minute for the misting process. If a typical decontamination
cycle takes 3 minutes, 750 litres of water are conventionally used.
This reduces to a mere 63 litres if one assumes 3 litres for a
90-second mist (@ 2 l/min) plus 60 litres for a 90-second soft spray
(@ 60 l/min).
With detergent and sanitizer being applied
through the mist spray the volume of chemical needed used will also
be reduced dramatically. The cycle times and combinations will
obviously change depending upon application or decontamination
process, but the reductions in water, wastewater and chemical will
be significantly reduced.
This, in turn, reduces the cost of
the wastewater disposal. The fogging process is then followed with
cold or hot water soft sprays from multiple nozzles injected with
cleaning agents or sanitizers as required. This enables the
decontamination to be completed in crease areas and to rinse the
suit off. In fact, the volumes of water are so low that the cost of
disposal of contaminated wash-water is significantly
The PBSC ultra-fogging de-contamination shower
provides efficient decontamination for the operator and to the
internal surfaces of the shower.
All are constructed to a
modular design using standard PBSC components, and can be tailored
to a client’s specific requirements. PBSC can provide units that
utilise existing facilities or, alternatively, a ‘stand alone’ unit
complete with its own system, which can be placed in any convenient
location. The direct benefits are tangible, but the intricacies of
how this ingenious fogging system actually works can only be
explained fully by calling PBSC.