While water as a resource has always played a critical—albeit sometimes unassuming—role in the health and continuity of our lives, society’s reliance on it has never been more pronounced than in the current climate. Pressured by the demands of the coronavirus outbreak, many essential industries have been forced to ramp up or adjust their operations, which has spotlighted just how integral the technologies and services that provide quality water are for them to function. In industries ranging from healthcare to food production and more, reliable access to purified water has been key in keeping critical markets running in the face of the pandemic. Over the coming weeks we will spotlight how companies that provide key technologies and services for cleaning and distributing water have emerged as one of the many unsung heroes in the world’s fight against COVID-19.
Water in Healthcare - Increasing Reliability and Maximizing Uptime
As healthcare facilities around the globe combat COVID-19, water is one of their most valuable tools to both perform testing and keep operations moving. Diagnostic facilities, for example, require steady supplies of purified water to perform diagnostic testing and process millions of patient samples per week. Any water quality issues in their laboratories can lead to inaccurate testing and can also have adverse effects on the performance of analyzer equipment, leading to significant downtime—and potential misdiagnoses as a result.
Clean water is also critical to healthcare operations for adequately sterilizing surgical instruments and medical devices. Poor water quality can lead to inefficient cleaning, causing instruments to be rejected and rewashed. This too takes up valuable time, further delaying urgent surgical procedures and tying up resources that are already in high demand.
Water in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing – Critical for Finding Cures
Pharmaceutical manufacturing relies on high-purity water as an ingredient in products, such as vaccines and reagents used in diagnostic tests. Failure to meet strict regulations for water quality standards can affect plant uptime and product safety, leading to lost production time and the possibility of adulterated products. As scientists race to develop treatments for COVID-19, facilities can’t afford poor water quality compromising research or manufacturing. In this instance, high quality water treatment systems and services, such as UV or ozone disinfecting technologies, are mission critical for killing bacteria in the water that may pose a health risk.
Water in Food and Beverage Production - A Key Ingredient for Success
From growing crops to transportation, washing, preparing and packaging products, everything in the food and beverage industry depends on water. As such, it’s difficult to picture our lives without this essential resource. As the demand for food and beverage products surges, a food processor’s ability to increase production accordingly is directly dependent on having a clean, safe and reliable supply of water to use as an ingredient, in production systems and for critical plant utilities such as boilers and cooling towers. With panic buying and supply chain issues already causing food shortages in some markets, food processors simply can’t afford to lose production due to a water system failure. And with concerns over safety and sanitization at an all-time high, water disinfection systems are equally relied upon to keep food products and employees safe.
At the back of the plant, proper wastewater management is also critical. Given that food and beverage facilities consume such high volumes of water, it’s imperative that pretreatment and recycling systems are functioning correctly so businesses can maximize resources by reusing water stores in a sanitary and efficient manner (doing so will also help facilities avoid costly surcharges).
Water in Tech Manufacturing - Facilitating a New State of Business
Less obvious is water’s critical role in the production of tech products, such as microelectronics. With companies across the globe operating remotely, workforces are now more dependent on the “Internet of Things” and technology more than ever. This has prompted an uptick in the demand for microelectronics manufacturers, who are working to close the gap with new technologies in order to accommodate a radically different state of business. To keep up with this increased pace of production, a steady water supply is needed to power operations. Specifically, to clean and polish devices without leaving behind any residue, a critical and delicately calibrated task.
In pushing critical markets to their limits, COVID-19 has underscored just how important access to quality water—and the technologies and service workers behind it—are in fueling efforts to protect the health of citizens and support business continuity for companies around the world. Poor water quality or quantity can be truly damaging to the industries we rely on to keep our society moving. In our current climate, we can’t afford to waste valuable time or resources, which is why organizations within these markets need to have premium water technologies and services in place to continue executing their essential work.