Testo & Northern Ireland Water: Keeping water safe and clean

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Saveris™ system from Testo is truly versatile and cost-effective constant digital measurement and control technology for temperature and humidity featuring inbuilt alarm and data printing benefits. Northern Ireland Water is a major public utility whose Laboratory Manager Natasha McMonagle sets the scene for this investment.

Why was the temperature monitoring system required?

Northern Ireland Waters Analytical Services is an ISO17025 Accredited DWTS laboratory dedicated to providing quality analytical and technical support services to a variety of clients including Regulators, Industry, local Government and Community organisations.

The company’s Westland House Laboratory undertakes a range of specialist chemical and microbiological operational and regulatory testing on raw and potable water samples. The water we supply for domestic use or food production must comply with the standards in the Northern Ireland Water Quality Regulations, which incorporate European Union standards and more stringent UK national standards. We undertake these regulatory obligations in order to satisfy the requirements of the regulations as outlined by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (Northern Ireland).

In order to maintain a high standard of traceability and integrity for both the Microbiological and water Chemistry analysis and to retain compliance with the requirements of the ISO17025 standard, the laboratory made the decision to upgrade its real-time temperature monitoring system in February 2013 to a wireless system. Temperature monitoring is a particularly important variable for the laboratory when testing the microbial safety of drinking water.

How we chose and came to use the system & benefits to Northern Ireland Water

Accurate control of the sample temperature during thermal cycling is critical for successful resuscitation of organisms if they are present in the water samples. Equipment performance must conform to strict temperature tolerances as outlined in the industry standards and the Testo system was a means of facilitating and monitoring these temperature guidelines. The laboratory has several types of equipment: ranging from refrigerators that hold the media required for analysis, cold store rooms for sample storage to incubators and ovens which samples are incubated in during the course of analysis. All require monitoring via a temperature monitoring system.

The laboratory had previous experience with automated temperature monitoring systems. The laboratory reviewed several commercially available systems for their ease of use, traceability and customisability, and surmised that the Testo system offered all of these options.

The Testo temperature monitoring system allowed us to monitor, document and create a range of information on temperature, equipment performance and integrity of analytical results. The system allowed us to review groupings of equipment i.e refrigerator groups and incubator groups allowing us to assess both their current status as well as historical performance at the click of a button. The system also permitted the laboratory to monitor equipment that was out of spec both inside and outside of normal working hours alongside the functionality to alert on-call analysts to temperature deviations outside of normal working hours (which is critical for the end microbiology result for public health protection). It allows us to monitor what was out of specification but importantly the duration of that deviation.

The system displays graphical data collected over a selected period of time on any equipment selected, and these time periods can be adjusted as and when needed.  The system also can generate a variety of useful reports on any or all of the equipment inclusive of historical alarms/deviations and remedial actions taken and is a very robust means of achieving compliance with the requirements of ISO17025 for temperature monitoring.

For more details on the testo Sverisa wireless monitoring system - Click here.