UL Program Assesses Risks for Health Care Facilities

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) announced April 11 its new Water QualityCheck™ program that will better enable managers of public or private facilities to identify and assess risks associated with drinking water quality.

Because water quality is of such importance in health care facilities, UL is initially focusing the program in this area. By partnering with UL, facility managers may now be more proactive in assessing water quality risks such as Legionella, as well as other potential contaminants. UL plans on extending the program to other facilities such as hotels, resorts, offices, and manufacturing plants.

Further fulfilling UL's public safety mission, this new service is a natural extension of UL's broad depth of knowledge and experience in water quality and auditing. The new program specifically monitors and tests for biological and chemical contaminants in a facility's water supply that may have been previously overlooked. Currently, the Safe Water Drinking Act does not regulate for contaminants in a municipal water supply as it comes through a service line to a building and into the tap. Water QualityCheck will help facility owners better manage this water quality gap, fulfilling an unmet need in this area.

"UL developed this program based on requests and input from the health care industry," commented Ann Marie Gebhart, UL Water Program director.

Current maintenance practices at health care facilities may not be sufficient to prevent waterborne infections and illness. Health care facility managers may only discover a problem with their facility's water after a public health problem occurs. By partnering with UL, health care facilities are proactively identifying and assessing risks associated with their water quality and increasing patient and employee confidence in their water quality.

Facilities that partner with UL for this new program will benefit from a comprehensive audit and analytical assessment designed to help identify potential water quality issues. Health care facilities that meet all the requirements of this program will be authorized to display a certificate of compliance with the program.

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