Emergency safety showers and eyewash stations minimize injuries caused by chemical burns. But some environments aren’t conducive to safety showers. For instance, if tepid water, or a constant supply of water, cannot be guaranteed, or the ambient temperatures are below -13 F (-25 C), it is impractical to use a standalone shower.

Emergency tank showers provide a viable solution in all operating environments and climates, with tank capacities ranging from 92 to 528 gallons. But, because emergency tank showers may go unused for extended periods, the water in the tanks may become stagnant. This makes it susceptible to bacterial growth. If not properly treated and maintained, they can become a source of infection.

The tepid water temperature range is another contributing factor. ANSI Z358.1-2014 requires the water temperature in emergency safety showers to be between 60 F (16 C) and 100 F (38 C). Unfortunately, bacteria thrive in temperatures between 68 F (20 C) and 113 F (45 C).

OSHA identified certain bacteria as a potential source of infection in safety showers. Not everyone is vulnerable to these bacteria, but their resulting infections can be quite severe. These include:

  • Acanthamoeba, which may cause eye infections
  • Pseudomonas, which may cause eye, skin, muscle, lung and other tissue infections
  • Legionella, which may cause serious lung infections

RELATED ARTICLE: Tepid Water Solutions for Emergency Safety Showers

Emergency Shower Requirements: Practical Steps to Limiting Bacteria Growth

It is an ANSI requirement to test safety showers and eyewash stations once a week. This displaces stagnant water in the piping and flushes out corrosion or sediment in the system, reducing the risk of bacteria growth. The duration of the flushing depends on the volume of water within the unit.

The UK Health and Safety Executive developed a guide for controlling the risks of exposure to the Legionella bacteria. It recommends developing a risk assessment profile for all man-made water systems. A routine inspection cycle should include sterilizing strainers, shower heads and nozzles.

Solutions for Emergency Tank Showers

Hughes Safety Showers treats the safety shower tank walls of all emergency tank showers with a self-sanitizing treatment (SST) prior to leaving the manufacturing facility. The SST inhibits the growth of bacteria thus keeping shower users safe from infection. Annual re-treatment is recommended.

An operational treatment for sanitizing emergency tank shower water is the use of Hydroclenz. This product acts as a powerful treatment against bacteria. The ceramic component serves as an oxidizing agent, while the noble metal acts as an ionizing agent. These two components work together to kill pathogenic bacteria. They also inhibit corrosion and scale buildup.

Contact Hughes Safety Showers to Purchase Emergency Tank Safety Showers

Hughes Safety Showers supplies emergency tank shower solutions with options to protect users against harmful bacteria. Contact us today for expert advice on your safety shower system.