Water and the Pandemic


Many years ago I had the opportunity of coordinating my work with Pete. Pete was a chemist and I sold industrial chemicals. I am also a non-science person. Pete, however, had this innate ability to explain chemical concepts to the lay person that I was.
One of the first things he taught me was “the best cleaner in the world is water.” He further explained that adding a chemical enhances water’s ability to clean. As it turns out, this amazing property of water also carries with it an ability to transmit all sorts of matter.

The Common Factor

I recently made an unanticipated trip to my dentist’s office. Upon arrival, one of the forms I was asked to review and sign was entitled:
       COVID-19 Pandemic Treatment Consent Form

Two of the sentences on this form are:

Dental procedures create water spray which is how the disease is spread. The ultra-fine nature of the spray can linger in the air for minutes to sometime hours which can transmit the COVID-19 virus.

These two sentences brought up a consideration that every business should be asking…What is the biggest source of water spray in my place of business?

The biggest source of water spray in your business is none of the above. It is:

Methods for Containment

We know that the aerosolization caused by flushing a toilet carries with it all the properties (including bacteria and viruses) of the elements in the water that is flushed. These elements not only remain in the toilet but are also, through aerosolization, distributed onto all of the surfaces in the restroom (and beyond). So, as a business how do you contain this situation?

The best and first thing that can be done and that you are are now doing is – have our services. Complete and thorough cleaning and sanitizing of all restroom surfaces is essential. Other actions you can take include:

  • Examine the level of service you have right now and consider whether it is sufficient for the present environment; should you have more?
  • Ensure that ventilation is appropriate; keep exhaust fans operational and locate them in an area close to the source of aerosolization. Air flow should be directed away from the areas where people work/eat.
  • Do not use a restroom for storage. Everything that you put in the restroom becomes contaminated. If you want or need to store items in the restroom ensure that they are in a closed cabinet.
  • Maintain adequate resources for high personal hygiene, especially hand washing.
  • Anything that you have in a restroom should have a surface that can be wiped clean, or, sanitized. Do not have anything in the restroom that is porous.

Remember…you are now entering…

Person entering restroom with warning "Bio-waste transfer station"

The Necessary Evil

Business owners do not like to spend money unnecessarily.  Unfortunately, the perception of spending money for cleaning is many times viewed as unnecessary. Unlike paying for a product that you then resell at a higher price; cleaning services are viewed as a line item that offers no return for the money spent. It is an outflow of cash that offers no return on the investment.

Now comes the therefore. Therefore, it doesn’t make any difference what service you hire; so, hire the cheapest. It is a necessary evil. Here is what you get with a cheap cleaning service.

  • Disgruntled employees, low employee morale
  • Sick employees, more sick days
  • Higher employee turnover
  • Lower business image
  • Customer complaints
  • Customers who never return
  • The need for more frequent facility repairs

So, really, is there no return on your investment when you hire a quality cleaning service?

Restrooms as a “Cornerstone” Principle?

There is a leadership theory called “cornerstone” which purports that focusing on excellence in one area (the cornerstone) can then support and permeate the entire company. That’s what I have experienced among my clients over the years. When the restroom is clean, neat and orderly I begin to see changes in other areas of the business. Work areas become cleaner, a greater level of order is noticeable, and good habits for proper use and disposal of supplies and equipment are observed. The employees and customers of the business start relating to the entire workplace from a perspective of meeting the standard they experience in the restrooms.

Clean is not a benefit of our service; it is the feature. The BENEFITS are all of the other results you experience. These include:

  • heightened employee morale,
  • retention of customers,
  • projection of a stellar business image,
  • reduction in management stress and time, and
  • protection of the health of restroom users.

With all of these benefits; does it really COST to have our services? Think about it?