Navigating Critical Water Testing in Healthcare Facilities

Mar 25, 2024

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) has new requirements pending for critical water testing in healthcare facilities. AAMI ST108, Water for the processing of reusable medical devices, is a new standard that will impact daily hospital operations. This upcoming standard will delve into the crucial aspects of water testing in healthcare settings. In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of water testing in healthcare and delve into the intricacies of AAMI ST108, set to be announced in October of 2023. 

The Importance of water quality in facilities 

Water quality is a key factor in several hospital processes that must be monitored to ensure the safety of its patients. Healthcare facilities must use a sterile processing department to sterilize reusable medical equipment (RME) such as scopes and surgical instruments. Hospitals cannot just use municipal water due to impurities that can damage medical devices during the cleaning and sterilization process. Not using critical water can cause rusting, pitting and bacterial contamination, increasing a patient’s risks of infection. The EPA’s safe drinking water standards are not in compliance with sterilizing medical equipment, either. Therefore, hospitals must install water treatment systems designed to treat municipal water supplied to the sterile processing systems within a healthcare facility. The U.S. does not currently have standards for water quality used for reusable medical device processing, thus AAMI ST108 was created.  

Understanding AAMI ST108 regulations & its importance 

AAMI ST108 is a new enforceable standard that is intended to replace the existing technical information report (TIR) AAMI TIR34:2014/(R)2017, Water for the reprocessing of medical devices. This updated standard will establish the minimum requirements for the quality of the water used to clean, rinse, disinfect, and sterilize RME. It defines water categories and established limits for contaminants including: water hardness pH level microorganism levels endotoxin levels other water quality characteristics AAMI/ANSI ST108 is an important step in improving healthcare facility’s essential sterile processing of RME and ensuring the safety of its patients. These requirements will help ensure successful cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization of devices as well as minimize the chance of device damage during cleaning and processing, in turn reducing the risk of infection to patients.  

Need to implement an effective critical water quality plan? Contact us, your healthcare experts. 

EBI has expertise in developing comprehensive Healthcare Facility Water Safety/Quality Plans. We collaborate with healthcare and water treatment stakeholders to develop plans that will lessen the impact on healthcare operations and continuity of care. AAMI ST108 will certainly impact sterile processing departments and healthcare operations. Having a trusted and knowledgeable consulting company with health care industry experience, like EBI, can aid in navigating the new requirements under ST108. 


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