From: ILPI Support <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Thoughts on some arguments against drains under safety showers
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2018 12:58:46 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
For # 1: Lord help us if we have a laboratory sink that is rarely used. Probably going to cause a cholera epidemic. Can you hear my eyes rolling? Ask them for a peer reviewed study of illnesses caused by unused safety shower floor drains. And because safety showers need to be tested weekly/monthly, one could easily add something to the testing protocol to put some disinfectant down that drain when the test ends.
For #2: Sloped floor will definitely help. The flow rate from showers is a million billion gallons per nanosecond. OK, actually 20-30 GPM, and I've seen one shower flood the entire side of a building several inches deep as well as drip down to the floors below. When water drips down from a floor above it lands on computers, laboratory instruments, irreplaceable paper records/notebooks and more. So there's not just a dollar loss, but an intangible and highly significant data/sample loss to be considered. Anything to staunch that irresistible downward flow is, in my mind, worth just about any cost. Gravity - it's not just a good idea, it's the law.
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This is a topic that's been discussed in depth before, but the architects planning our new science building had two arguments against drains under safety showers that I wasn't that familiar with and wanted to get people's thoughts:
1) Some medical facilities are calling them a health hazard due to possible build-up of biological stuff (presumably bacteria or mold?)
2) The drain will be too small to capture enough water to make it worth the cost (they did accept that a sloped floor might help with this)
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