USP Purified Water Microbiological Control Philosophy, Theory, and Operation
By Bob Livingston
Engineers designing water systems do not employ a microbiological control philosophy to the water systems they build. They almost always assume a specified sanitization method and frequency. Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) inspectors assume control of microbiology in water systems must be maintained at all points at all times. It is highly beneficial and economical to determine when and where in the purification process it is expedient to control microbiology, and to then do so with finality. It is impractical and uneconomical to attempt to control microbiology in untreated city water and the pretreatment phase of the water purification process because of the presence of nutritive organics and minerals in the incoming water supply. It is also low risk not to attempt to control the bacteria in the pretreatment if the water system is of appropriate design.
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