The UK’s population is aging rapidly, there are now over 11 million people aged 65 or over in the UK, with this number expected to rise by 40% by 2030. As such care homes are becoming under more pressure than ever to be competitive in the market place, to provide excellent service for their residents but also to minimise avoidable costs.
The age old problem of water quality and hardness has a costly and detrimental effect on a care home through the provision of cleaning and laundry care and management. Water has always been the most important commodity in any type or size of laundry. The effects of water and its quality is more critical today than ever before in the performance of cleaning linen products and the protection of capital equipment/appliances.
More than 60% of the UK suffers from hard water. It is this hard water that brings with it a detrimental side in the form of limescale. Staggeringly, the problem of limescale costs the UK an estimated £1 billion every year to sort out through replacement, servicing and maintenance.
It is also estimated that hard water is responsible for up to 70% of equipment failure, be it a water boiler, washing machine, dishwasher or a range of commercial equipment. As such, it is important to consider water treatment as part of any capital equipment expenditure review to help eliminate unnecessary costs to your business.
With care homes using high volumes of water it is important to have the correct water treatment system in place to prevent limescale, which may otherwise lead to expensive breakdowns and unwanted machine downtime. Interestingly a commercial application using just 2,000 litres per day in a hard water area of only 300ppm, will use water containing 233kg (512lb) of scale in just one year. That’s nearly a quarter of a tonne!
One size does not fit all. As such it is important to review your water hardness, machine capacity and volume of water going through your system to ensure you make the right water treatment choice. Once installed you can expect to see the removal of any limescale but also achieve protection from aggressive minerals to help extend the working life of your equipment, as well as reduced energy bills. It is important to note that just 0.5mm of scale increases fuel costs by 9.4%. Similarly 1mm of scale will increase this to 12%.
The introduction of a suitable water treatment system including; water softeners or scale prevention systems etc. also help to ensure soil and stain removal, preventing white fabrics from greying, whilst also ensuring coloured fabrics stay bright and soft. Remember that the working life of a garment can be lessened by up to 40% when washed in hard water and some linen and fabrics may have to be discarded before wearing out. It also helps a care home manager reduce costly and labour intensive cleaning of bathroom taps and showers etc. due to the removal of limescale.
Kevin Johnson, Managing Director at Monarch Water, commented; “Water treatment equipment should be seen as an investment and insurance to help maintain a successful care home rather than a cost. With professional advice, wholesale benefits can be achieved from the point of its installation, providing appliance protection, energy bill and labour savings as well as maintaining the quality and working life of linen by virtually eliminating the scale build-up caused by the calcium and magnesium.”