Industrial, chemical and effluent process pipes # 1974 Southampton
A modern hospital is a most complex buildinn and, unlike other types of congested development, does not associate itself with any particular type of human activity, but covers the whole spectrum of the functional requirements of 'homo sapiens'.
For the object of this paper 'hospital' can roughly be divided into four general types.
- The small 20-100 bed 'Cottage hospital' which can either be general, geriatric or maternity
- Those large District General Hospitals that cater for the total: I medical needs of the community within which.they are situated
- Teaching hospitals, university attached or otherwise
- Specialised Units for Burns, Isolation, Radiology etc.
Within the above general types there are also hospital units specific to this paper which should be mentioned, such as Area Laundries, Pathology Departments and Pharmacies which are semi industrial in function and may produce a trade type effluent.
Within the fust three types, but in varying degrees of intensity, most of the effluent discharged is domestic in character, ie. no more onerous than that discharged from our own homes. But within the District General Hospitals, Teaching hospitals and specialised units, there are departments which, by nature of their specialisation, produce effluents which are either corrosive, pathogenic, explosive or combinations of all three. These departments can, therefore, be closely associated with those Specialised Units and semi industrial areas whose effluent has always required added design consideration by Consultants, particularly with regard to the choice of pipework materials.
It is not the intention of this paper to reproduce lists of chemicals and their effect on the variety of plastic pipework materials. These lists are available (British Standard Code of Practice CP3 12 Part I 1973), and it is the responsibility of any designer of pipework systems to check with his client on the types of chemical or other special effluents likely to be experienced. Just a word of caution - if in doubt, play safe; because of the increasing use of chemicals within our hospitals, what one designs as safe today may not be so tomorrow!