In September of 2008, CHRIST Water Technology presented innovative solutions for water purification at a conference in Vienna. These processes are designed to remove both organic and inorganic pollutants from industrial and municipal water supplies. Such technologies are very important to many companies including pharmaceutical manufacturers. Quality assurance requires any water used be free of bacteria and other micro-organisms.

CHRIST is able to deliver purified and highly purified water (PW and HPW) to meet the needs of the pharmaceutical industry. This can prove useful for various stages in the manufacturing process. Any benchtop sterilizers on-site can benefit from the use of such water also. Autoclave reservoirs that are not properly cleaned can actually provide a breeding ground for Gram-negative bacteria. Endotoxin residue levels soar if these containers are not cleaned on a daily basis. Disinfecting the equipment, draining and drying the reservoir at the end of each work day, and refilling it regularly are all good maintenance practices. Any cleaning products used should be specifically designed for the purpose and completely rinsed off. Failing to do so can cause foaming and other problems during the next cycle.

Sterilizers should always be operated using purified, sterile water. This serves two purposes. First, the water must be as free as possible of mineral contaminants to prevent build up of deposits on the interior of the machine. Tap water can cause corrosion and other damage. Second, the water should contain no microbial life. This reduces the risk of unnecessary contamination. It doesn’t make sense to spend time and effort cleaning items with steam generated from dirty water.

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Deionisation and purification are important, but the final disinfection of water for use in sensitive environments requires an extra step. CWT offers the Steritron process to introduce ozone into the water supply as an effective biocide. The gas is generated by electrolysis and breaks down the cell walls of microbes via oxidation.  The entire process is carried out in a by-pass area that can be looped into the main water delivery system. Ozone is distributed throughout the piping and storage tanks, effectively disinfecting the entire supply (and preventing recontamination).

Steritron is advertised as an optimal method for reducing the presence of endotoxins and other waste byproducts formed by the breakdown of biological contaminants. These sterilization plants are available in a variety of sizes. The O3 in the system can reach concentrations of up to 18wt % of ozone to oxygen according to the manufacturer. With a sufficient treatment time, the microbial contamination may be brought down to levels of 10/100 ml. This is extremely low and an excellent indication that the equipment is accomplishing its goal.

Having sterile water “on tap” is an advantage in any R&D or manufacturing setting. However, there is some debate over just how pure the water needs to be for use in autoclaves. The Medical Devices Agency in the UK thinks it should be purified through 2 stage reverse osmosis. Others believe less stringent standards still render a reasonably sterile supply. Perhaps it is best to err on the side of caution.

If you like to get all the facts before you make a decision, you will appreciate our free report about autoclaves. It can help you make crucial purchasing choices that impact your company’s productivity and your bottom line.