A new study has found that low-water office buildings may have chemical and microbiological safety concerns. The findings of the study have been published in the journal ‘PLOS Water’. Many office buildings have reduced occupancy rates during weekends and holidays – and recently, during pandemic lockdowns – increasing water stagnation in plumbing. Green buildings are designed to reduce water consumption by using efficient fixtures and alternative water supplies. However, due to the combination of lower water consumption in buildings and a low occupancy rate, the safety of water from green buildings is unknown.
To better understand the chemical and microbiological quality in the sanitation facilities of a green commercial office building after weekend stagnation, researchers sampled water between January and February 2020 from a ten-year-old, three-story, LEED-certified office building in Indiana. wells in the building were tested for pH, metals, ions and bacterial strains of Legionella. Researchers found that copper and lead levels rose over the weekend and Legionella counts were highest on a fixture whose use was not recorded during the sampling.
In addition, the concentration of the disinfectant chlorine decreased during the weekend. The study had several limitations as it relied on self-reported data for measurements of fixture usage and may have misreported usage frequency in some locations. Future studies are needed to further analyze how water-saving devices can affect water quality.
According to the authors, “To prepare plumbing for code, chemical and microbiological water tests are not required or recommended. The green office building studied had many features increasingly common in new buildings, including low-flow faucets, automatic faucets, and alternative piping systems.” for large water applications such as toilet flushing and irrigation.These design elements can alter water temperature profiles and significantly reduce the amount of water used compared to traditional office buildings, raising concerns about water quality degradation.”
The authors added: “The first people in the office on a Monday morning can actually use contaminated drinking water. To better understand whether the water we use is safe, many more water tests need to be done at the tap. Plumbing design standards and codes also need to be revised.”
Read all minute by minute news updates for Uttar Pradesh 2022 Election Results, Punjab 2022 Election Results, Uttarakhand 2022 Election Results, Manipur 2022 Election Results and Goa 2022 Election Results.
Click here for seat-wise LIVE result updates.