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The water in your lab

Water is one of the most common ingredients in laboratories and in our everyday life. In the case of scientific fields and in researches, water is commonly used as a solvent, which means that is used for cleaning. Besides, is the basis for cell cultures, buffers and reagents. As everything inside your lab, the water quality is one of the most important aspects making it the key factor to the success in your experiments. That is why water systems are a fundamental item to have. 

You might consider tap water is pure, but it turns out those five contaminants classes might represent a problem in you laboratory tasks. These contaminants are inorganic ions, organics, particulates/colloids, bacteria and gases. Another thing you should know about water in laboratory uses is that there are three levels of water grade purity. In addition, these levels depend on the technologies used to remove any contaminant elements. Some of the most common purification techniques are distillation, ion exchange, activated carbon, microporous filters, ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, helix continuous deionization and ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Laboratory water system

Many laboratory experiments need to have a consistent, pure and adjustable water source. That is why there is a wide variety range of laboratory water systems including deionized water systems, high flow lab water systems, reagent grade water systems, reverse osmosis water purification systems, and ultrapure water systems. Laboratory water-purification systems can also employ UV radiation to eliminate microorganisms.

In addition, you should know that a water system could draw water either directly from the tap or from an accompanying reservoir. About the purity standards, they are set to ensure that the correct water quality is used for science and healthcare. There are some relevant international water standards: 

  • The American Society for Testing and Materials  (ASTM)
  • The International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
  • The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI)
  • The International Pharmacopeia (including USP, EP and JP)

Laboratory water purification system

There are three water types in the laboratory field. Type I water is known as ultrapure because it contains extremely low levels of ions, organic molecules, bacteria and particles. This water comes from the combination of purification technologies such as ion-exchange resins, activated carbon, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet photo-oxidation, filtration processes, and electrode ionization. This water is useful to prepare reagents for molecular biology and cell culture.

Type II water contains a small amount of ions, organic molecules and possibly a small amount of bacteria. This type is also known as pure and among its applications, you can find preparing everyday reagents and buffers. Finally, type III water comes from reverse-osmosis or ion exchange and it is used for less sensitive applications like qualitative analyses, glassware rinsing, and water baths.

One of the essential processes in any kind of laboratory is supplying you lab ware with pure water, because they need to be free of ions, bacteria, particles and other possible contaminants. On a daily basis, a large amount of water is needed to run autoclave cycles and glassware cycles programs or other equipment like water baths.

If you do not use pure water, you can face some unpleasant consequences in your laboratory equipment such as high ion concentration causing deposits and blockage of feed lines affecting heating or heat transfer. Particles accumulation stack up in feed lines and it can build up causing a blockage. In addition, microorganisms can lead to cross contamination due to cell debris components and it Induces foaming and can prevent laboratory instruments from operating correctly

In Kalstein Laboratory Equipment, we are offering you the high-end  water systems  you need in your company.

This article was published on Monday 28 August, 2017.