Water Main Break Hampers Atlanta Hospital's Operations

The hospital received 58,000 gallons of water from local sources to maintain air conditioning.

By Jeff Wardon, Jr., Assistant Editor

Emory University Hospital Midtown recently experienced a severe water shortage due to multiple water main breaks, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The hospital, which houses about 500 patients, struggled with low water pressure, affecting basic functions like flushing toilets and prompting the use of bottled water.  

As a result, the hospital had to divert ambulances, except for urgent heart cases, and it transferred some patients, including those needing dialysis, to other Emory hospitals. To maintain air conditioning, the hospital received 58,000 gallons of water from local fire departments and tankers. 

The hospital has resumed normal operations, with its local area still under a boil water advisory, according to CNN

Related: How Healthcare Facilities Monitor Water Usage

Water main breaks can be catastrophic for healthcare facilities because they directly hinder water supplies. But that is not the only issue. Other problems can crop up, according to Nuvonic

  • Water use. Drinking fountains, food prep and other activities that use water are impacted. 
  • Critical care. Activities core to patient care, such as hand washing, are also affected. 
  • Equipment requirements. Many systems and equipment can be affected, resulting in the need for them to be reprocessed. These systems  include medical equipment, fire sprinkler and HVAC. 
  • Sanitization requirements: Sanitization activities such as bathing patients, doing laundry, decontamination and hazmat responses are affected. 

Jeff Wardon, Jr. is the assistant editor for the facilities market. 

June 5, 2024

Topic Area: Maintenance and Operations

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