Since November 2018 to date, the Engineering Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in collaboration with Coles Engineering and DM Simpson, have been working to improve the hospital’s water storage capacity through the erection of a new 50,000 gallon water tank.
Presently, the QEH utilizes three 9,000 gallon water tanks situated on the roof of the hospital’s main building. This equates to an approximate 27,000 gallons of water reserve which cannot adequately meet the hospital’s projected needs during a prolonged water outage. Mr. Philip King, Senior Technical Officer in the Engineering Department noted that based on a study done by the WHO/PAHO; it is estimated that on average, healthcare institutions require a daily supply of 75 litres of water per patient bed. This translates to a figure of approximately 8,420 gallons per day to adequately service the QEH and its constituents.
To ensure the QEH increases its water storage capacity to comply with the PAHO Safe Hospital Index requirements, in February 2019, the Board of Management begun the commissioning of the new 50,000 gallon water tank in the rear of the hospital. This ongoing installation is expected to increase the QEH’s current water capacity from 27,000 gallons to 77,000 gallons.
The QEH is also committed to ensuring that in addition to the provision of an adequate supply of water to meet operational needs, the water supplied is also safe for usage. Like other hospitals, the QEH relies heavily on water to perform various functions such as routine cleaning, medical activities, drinking, food preparation, personal hygiene and laundry. Poor water quality and an inadequate supply can negatively impact patient care. In light of this, the water tank project is a very timely, important, and proactive undertaking for the hospital.
Foreman of Works, Mr. Cosmo Bennett, indicated that though the new tank will extend the length of time that the hospital can remain operational during water outages, additional water tanks are still needed in the near future. Mr. King echoed similar sentiments, relaying that in addition to supplementing the current water supply; water can now also be easily
pumped into the newly erected 50,000 gallon tank from the Barbados Water Authority’s water tankers.
Recently tested, drained and commissioned, it is anticipated that the new tank will soon be fully operational, and will serve the QEH for many years to come.