Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Singapore government has been forced to implement safety measures and restrictions. As a result, many educational institutes, childcare facilities, health and wellness facilities, hotels and offices are left empty.
The question is, what happens when the water is not flowing?
Well, the answer seems to be pretty straight-forward – water would be sitting in pipes, individual taps and toilets. With constant flow of water being absent, organisms and chemicals tend to build up in plumbing. According to Channel News Asia’s commentary article in April 2020, when the water is stagnant, such organisms and chemicals can reach unsafe levels in just a few days.
Once unsafe levels of organisms and chemicals build up in stagnant water, if consumed by drinking or subconsciously inhaling (in a form of aerosols often caused by water splashes), it can cause serious health conditions such as pneumonia-like diseases. The most worrying one would be Legionnaires’ disease as the old and the young, of weaker immune system, are more prone to contract the disease.
Therefore, it is critical that the “fresh” water flows regularly to building’s faucets. Most buildings and rooms in Singapore, however, are not designed to be left empty for weeks, not to mention the lack of safety plans to keep the water fresh day-to-day.
Keep the water flowing
In fact, pandemic times are not the only times that we are exposed to the potential danger of motionless water. When the sites with fluctuating occupancy level such as schools, hospitals and hotels have low occupancy, it is expected that the water would remain stagnant in pipes, individual taps and toilets, resulting in the same risk.
The water hygiene system KHS is an innovative solution to this issue. With a flow splitter (the main product of the system) installed in each room, the system prevents water stagnation by ensuring that the water in pipes is “used as intended”. When the water is “used as intended”, an assumed frequency of water usage during design stage is being maintained after installation of the plumbing system. This can be done because the flow splitter is able to induce the flow of water for an empty room whenever there is usage in the next room or in subsequent rooms. In short, when a faucet in one room is used, the “fresh” water would flow into all other “previous” rooms, even if they are empty and not in use.
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2) The New York Times - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/20/health/coronavirus-legionnaires-offices.html