National Trust: Preserving History with DI Water

Amy Hawthorne

by Amy Hawthorne

26th March 2015

We were so pleased to receive another exciting order this month. The National Trust contacted us with a request to purchase deionised water (or DI water), which meant we would have the opportunity to contribute to a British heritage project that is the source of lots of public interest.

Our deionised water would be used by the National Trust for conservation cleaning at Chedworth Roman Villa. Specifically, it would be used to wet clean the ancient mosaic floors on display there. The mosaics could be up to 2000 years old, so cleaning and preserving them is a delicate and essential process.

What is the National Trust?

The National Trust is a charity that works to preserve and protect historic places and spaces. They protect buildings, parks, nature and wildlife, coasts and countryside, collections and monuments.

The National Trust opens up these places to the public and in the process they preserve and help us to remember and appreciate our nation’s heritage.

History of the Chedworth Roman Villa

Dining room mosaic at Chedworth Roman villa

Part of the western panel in the southern mosaic of the Dining Room

The Chedworth Roman Villa was a huge and lavishly decorated house in Roman Britain. It was built in the second century AD and fell to ruin, before being accidentally rediscovered back in 1864.

When the site was excavated it was discovered that, amongst other things, the original mosaic floors were still intact. They were found underneath concrete paths that had been removed by archaeologists.

The site is now on display to the public who flock to see the “spectacular mosaics” that the Chedworth Roman Villa is famous for.

2014 saw the 150th anniversary of the Victorian rediscovery of the Chedworth Roman Villa. It is now being protected and preserved by the National Trust and modern walkways have been built to allow visitors to get up close to the historical mosaics.

See the National Trust’s website for more information on the history of the Chedworth Roman Villa.

Why Deionised Water?

Dining room mosaic at Chedworth Roman villa

The mosaic in the Dining Room. Close up of the figure of “Winter” wearing a hooded cloak, a “birrus” which is made in Britain. He is holding a dead hare and a leafless branch.

The National Trust uses ReAgent’s deionised water for conservation cleaning of the mosaic floors of Chedworth Roman Villa.

Due to the age and delicate nature of the mosaics, the water used needs to be as pure and clean as possible. Deionised water has undergone thorough filtration, so all deposits and minerals have been taken out. Our deionised water also goes through a UV filter which kills any remaining bugs or particles that might be in there.

Normal tap water contains impurities and, in some areas of the country, can have a high fluoride content. These features could damage mosaic floors, which is why deionised water is the safest option for such an important preservation project.

If you think you may need deionised water – or any of ReAgent’s other products – for your business or project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our sales and technical team on-site will be happy to talk through your options and offer free technical advice.

Thank you to the National Trust for providing us with the images of the mosaic floors.


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