Waterborne germs such as Pseudomonas and Legionella in drinking water pipework can be dangerous. Special attention is necessary to protect vulnerable people from infection.
Aqua free is devoted to the task of maintaining and improving water hygiene. Founded in Hamburg in 1999, the company started life as a manufacturer of sterile water filters for healthcare application. Today Aqua free is a certified medical device company and not only develops and produces high quality water filters and other products but also provides a comprehensive range of services all focused on water hygiene.
Water hygiene in medical environments: not just tap and shower filters
Our portfolio of medical water hygiene products includes sterile water filters for a wide variety of medical applications - both point-of-use and in-line systems - and also offers bespoke system solutions. Our Service team, who are all trained in operating in high risk medical environments, support clients in facing the everyday challenges presented by water hygiene. Hospitals and medical practices trust Aqua free products and services to provide permanent protection for their patients and employees.
Water hygiene challenges in domestic and commercial environments
The quality of our medical products, and the skill and knowledge behind them is reflected in our range of Legionella and bacteria water filters designed to suit domestic, commercial and industrial clients. Our filters and other technical hygiene products provide immediate protection from germs in drinking water for a wide range of applications such as households, hotels, public buildings, factories, mobile homes.
Individual solutions for specific purposes
Some problems are very specific and require individual solutions. Aqua free has a history of working closely with clients from industry and commerce to develop bespoke filtration solutions to suit specific applications and guidelines.
Aqua free is recognised as a specialist water hygiene partner throughout Europe.
As a producer of top quality medical devices, Aqua free works to internationally accepted quality standards and guidelines and complies with national laws and regulations.
Special attention is paid to product validation. Before they are used by clients, all Aqua free products are comprehensively tested for compliance with current standards and requirements. Aqua free provides the results in comprehensive validation reports which are freely available to clients.
Aqua free produces effective, high-quality, disposable and reusable filters based on hollow fibre membrane technology. The retention of the hollow fibre membrane filter is determined by the pore size of 0,2µm. This is referred to as micro-filtration and numerous neutral tests have shown this filter delivers a 7-log retention of the defined test bacteria Brevundimonas diminuta. This is equivalent to holding back 99.99999% bacteria such as Legionella or Pseudomonas and corresponds to the international standard for sterile filtered water.
The hollow fibres are fixed as a fibre bundle in the filter housing. Water enters the hollow fibres and is filtered through the pores in these fibres.
Schematic of filtration
The Germlyser® filter systems can be reused after being taken through a validated cleaning and disinfection process. This patented process enables Aqua free to make a significant contribution to protecting the environment. The process has been recognised by the environmental foundation Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt and has been awarded an innovation prize by the city of Hamburg.
A life cycle assessment (LCA) of reusable and disposable water filters used for the prevention of nosocomial Legionella infections was carried out by Ökoinstitut Freiburg with the conclusion that reusable filters deliver a much lower carbon footprint and also significantly reduced waste compared to disposable filters.
However, for some markets and applications the use of reusable filter systems is impractical. Therefore Aqua free also offers the equally effective single use filter systems.
All Germlyser®, Baclyser® and WoundLyser filters are Class I medical devices and bear the CE mark.
The procedures - from development and production to international distribution of all products – are defined in a transparent management system and subject to the specific quality standards required for medical devices.
Aqua free is EN ISO 13485-certified and is monitored by the notified body TÜV SÜD. Aqua free fulfils the requirements for quality assurance systems given in Appendix V, Section 3 of the medical devices directive (93/42/EEC) for the manufacture of sterile products. The quality assurance system is also subject to constant monitoring by the notified body, TÜV SÜD, and is verified by the appropriate certification. The declarations of conformity are based on those requirements of directive 93/42/EEC that are relevant for Aqua free.
Several years ago Aqua free began a partnership with the charity RMcD-Kinderhilfe and took on the cost of maintaining an apartment in its child-parent house in Hamburg-Eppendorf. Aqua free thus enables the close relatives of severely ill children to stay nearby free of charge while the children undergo longer periods of in-patient treatment at the University hospital.