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What Compliance Certificate Do I Need for the Water Tank in my Care Home?

24 October 2023

It goes without saying that water hygiene and safety are important in any environment, but especially in care homes where residents are more susceptible to illness or infection.

If you run a care home, it is your legal duty to ensure that your water supply is clean and safe for consumption. A key part of this is obtaining the necessary compliance certificate for your water tank.

In this blog, we’ll delve into the importance of water tank certification and what you need to do to obtain one.

What is the Drinking Water Inspectorate?

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) are a regulatory body that is responsible for overseeing the quality and safety of public drinking water.

Their primary focus is to ensure that water suppliers meet the strict standards set by the government.

This includes the inspection and assessment of potable water storage tanks, ensuring that water tanks meet specific criteria for cleanliness, maintenance, and design to prevent contamination.

This process plays a huge role in maintaining the quality of water in care homes, guaranteeing that water storage facilities adhere to the necessary standards.

How to get your care home water tank certified 

The first step in obtaining a compliance certificate for your care home water tank is for an inspection and assessment to be carried out by water hygiene specialists.

This thorough inspection involves looking at the internal conditions of the tank for signs of damage or contamination, such as sediment at the base of the tank or floating biofilm. Water samples are also taken, to test for TVC, E. coli, and coliforms.

Additionally, while legionella is airborne, which means it won’t affect your drinking water, it is still recommended that it be sampled for, especially if your site has a high susceptibility rating, such as your care home. You can learn a little more about the dangers of legionella by clicking here. 

If any contaminants are detected, the experts handling your inspection will be able to provide a plan of remedial works required to get your water system back in safe working order.

It’s important to note that many care homes are unaware of the DWI and their mandatory requirements, without this routine maintenance, your water systems are not compliant.

Once you have passed inspection and received your compliance certificate, your water tank will require inspecting and testing every six months and cleaning annually to remain DWI-compliant.

What happens if your water tank does not have compliance certification?

Operating a care home with an uncertified (unsafe) water tank can have serious consequences. Here are 3 potential risks of failing to ensure your water tank is DWI certified:

Health risks 

Without proper certification, you risk the health and well-being of your residents. A water tank that has missed an inspection may contain contaminants or pathogens that could lead to waterborne illnesses.

Your service users, especially those with compromised immune systems, are at a higher risk of contracting potentially fatal diseases from contaminated water.

Legal consequences 

Operating without the required certifications puts you in violation of water safety regulations. This can lead to fines, legal action and even the suspension or revocation of your care home’s operating licence from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

If you have had an inspection in the past that has shown you needed remedial work and you have failed to address that, the CQC consider this as negligence and may escalate the issue. That’s why it’s crucial to have necessary remedial work carried out as soon as possible.

Damage to your reputation 

Word spreads quickly, and an incident involving contaminated water can severely damage the reputation of your care home, leading to a loss of trust from service users, their families, or your local community.

Secure compliance certification with H2O Hygiene 

Obtaining the necessary compliance certificate for your care home is not just a legal obligation, but a crucial step in safeguarding the health and well-being of your service users.

To find out how H2O Hygiene can help you achieve DWI certification, get in touch with our expert team today.

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