Monographic Section

Water use and water saving in Italian hospitals. A preliminary investigation


Abstract


Aim. The aim of this work is to investigate about water use, wastage, saving and reuse in hospitals. Methods. An anonymous ad hoc questionnaire was tested in a sample of 36 public hospitals of Lombardy Region (21% of total public hospitals). Daily water consumption reported is on average equal to 481 m3, ranging from 30 to 2280 m3. There is a strong correlation between water consumption and number of hospital beds (p < 0.005). In 33 hospitals (92%) water consumption is measured and, among them, in about 48% more than one flow meter is installed; 86% consider “important” the reduction of water consumption and about 55% recognize that wastewater could be minimized within the structures. Discussion. There is consensus about the need to train health personnel and to implement technical measures to improve the water resources management, but initiatives to raise knowledge and awareness of health personnel have been promoted only in 10% of hospitals. Results. Results show not only a lack of awareness regarding water use and saving among the personnel in general, but also among heads of the hospitas’ technical office and energy managers as well. For this reason, it will be of interest to carry out this investigation at national level and also to develop recommendations to support and promote a safe reuse of water in all the hospitals.


Keywords


hospitals; water reuse; sustainability management

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.