While clean water provides humans and animals with the fluid we all need, water can be a force of destruction in a few situations. Hospitals are aware of this possibility, and their leaders have precise emergency drills to prepare the staff for this sort of event. Like routine fire drills, hospitals and other healthcare institutions also have alerts and measures in place if significant water gets into the building. All healthcare providers must follow strict regulations when it comes to cleaning up water that could be dangerous or contaminated.
Water damage can be caused by a burst water heater. In hospitals, these are typically in the basement or ground level. Therefore, most of the damage will be right in that general area. Most hospitals have precautions just in case of a situation like this. If the water seeps into other areas or gets inside of walls, the situation will be worse. Usually, with any widespread water damage in or surrounding a hospital facility, the administrator will call in an outside restoration company that provides water restoration for healthcare facilities. This team will need their current certificates that show that they have been trained and have kept up with learning requirements.
The differences in how a water restoration occurs in a hospital versus another building that is not a healthcare facility is mostly geared towards ensuring that patients are not exposed, and to keep the building and everyone inside safe. Due to these requirements, the restoration team will install barriers and possibly high powered exhaust fans to keep the water and potentially contaminated air away from other areas of the building. They will seal off connected air vents if necessary until the problem has been completely resolved. How the excess water is handled will depend on the state of that water.
Highly contaminated water will mean that cleanup methods must be even more careful. Pathogens like viruses and bacteria are often in contaminated water. This could occur if a sewer line broke. The restoration processes must be in keeping with the legal rules and guidelines set forth by OSHA and other government agencies that oversee workplaces and healthcare safety rules. The exact way that a water damage event is handled in any given hospital will depend on other criteria. If the damaged area is contained, the restoration is easier than if widespread.