Why do laboratories need pure water?

Labs rely on pure water to produce reliable and repeatable trials.

Laboratories depend heavily on pure water to generate reliable and repeatable experiments. Avoiding contamination is an essential aspect of any biological method; the water quality used for sample and solution preparation is necessary or even more so than other reagents.

Essential and versatile, water is used in all laboratories to prepare media, buffers and additives, for heating, cooling, cleaning, and rinsing. Water quality consideration is significant because any impurities and contaminants can significantly impact experiments, not to mention the entire work environment. Pollutants range vastly but generally consist of suspended solids, particles, organic and inorganic compounds, bacteria, endotoxins, ions, and microorganisms.

Laboratories servicing specific industries require certain water purity levels ranging from pure to ultrapure, based on their application, which can include but is not limited to:

  • Histology,
  • Cell culture,
  • Chromatography,
  • Molecular biology,
  • Buffer preparation
  • Total organic carbon (TOC) analysis, and
  • Reagent preparation and photometry
  • High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)

Specifications for pure water standards are as follows:

  • Type I (Ultrapure)
  • Type II (standard buffers)
  • Type III (feed water into Type I purification systems)

All three specifications are defined by the application’s sensitivity or through an industry-standard such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or Pharmacopoeias.

Lab administrators should frequently review relevant water quality guidelines and benchmark water impacts on their applications and the results during the experimental life cycle, including cleaning.

Facilities with a central water system supplying numerous laboratories should understand that water is the purest closest to the source and deteriorates at the point of use; this is particularly true after the water is distributed through the tubing. Therefore, it is crucial to test the impact of water quality based on the source and the application.

Because of the importance water purity has in professional settings, several organizations have established water quality guidelines and standards. Some of these influential organization include the:

Water contaminants defined

Water contaminants similar to pollutants defined above are identified as any substances that deteriorate your water quality. These contaminants are also referred to as impurities. Some common impurities found in water include particulates, dissolved inorganic, dissolved organics, microorganisms, DNA, and pyrogens.

Water: the essential laboratory reagent

Being such a suitable solvent, it ends up full of stuff that we don’t want in it, and in the lab, you usually use water that’s been through several purification steps.

Application-specific water purification systems have been developed for all water purity requirements, from simple water purification applications to complex multi-stage processes, in single laboratories or multilaboratory facilities. There are specialists available to help your organization evaluate current conditions, understand future needs and propose reliable water purifications solutions. Ensuring your laboratory’s best outcomes are achieved every time requires the inclusion of application-tailored water purification systems that yield dependable, replicable, and consistent results while saving time and minimizing resources and laboratory space.

Laboratories rely heavily on pure water to produce high-quality, consistent, and repeatable trials using Millipore water purification systems.