In the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, the travel industry has experienced record activity. People are itching to leave their house, travel, and get back to the normal rhythms of the world.
While pandemic restrictions have eased up in recent months, the travel industry continues to adjust its procedures in order to keep people safe, without placing too many restrictions on their valued customers.
One of the most common bacterial infections that hotel owners need to protect against is Legionella. This dangerous bacteria can lurk in some of the most hard-to-reach places, making it difficult to maintain and prevent if you do not know where to look or how to prevent their growth.
In order to best protect your establishment and the well-being of both your guests and employees, it is essential to ensure that you are implementing bacteria prevention measures in your water system maintenance plan.
What is Legionella?
Legionella bacteria is a type of water-borne pathogen that can cause a serious lung infection known as Legionnaires’ disease. The bacteria is found naturally in freshwater, but can also grow in artificial water systems such as cooling towers, hot tubs, and spa pools. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated soil or dust.
People can become infected with Legionella bacteria by breathing in small droplets of water that contain the bacteria. The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include fever, coughing, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. The condition can be fatal in some cases, so it is important to seek medical attention if you develop any of these symptoms.
There are steps that hotel owners can take to help prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria, including regular cleaning and disinfection of water systems and keeping pools and hot tubs properly chlorinated. It is also important to ensure that guests are aware of the risks of Legionnaires’ disease and take precautions to avoid exposure to the bacteria.
How Legionella Spreads in Hotels
Legionella bacteria are commonly found in hotels and often spread through the use of shower heads and other water fixtures. There are a variety of areas where water is used and stored, with the main areas being the cooling tower, HVAC Systems, Fountains, and hot water storage tanks.
Guests can contribute to the problem by not running water prior to y washing their hands or taking showers. To start, hotel owners can help prevent the spread of Legionella by regularly cleaning and chlorinating shower heads and other water fixtures, and by draining tanks and hoses in accordance with proper procedures.
Professional water treatment services can assist with a number of other, more detailed measures. We summarize these measures below.
How Hotel Owners Can Prevent Legionella Buildup
In order to reduce the risk of a Legionella outbreak in your establishment, it is important to follow the following steps.
- Educate housekeeping staff on the dangers of Legionella and how to properly clean and disinfect surfaces.
- Maintain an ASHRAE 188 Water Safety Plan
- Disinfect all hotel water fixtures on a regular basis, especially shower heads and faucets.
- Regularly test for Legionella bacteria in the hotel water supply.
- Install special filters on all hotel water fixtures that can trap and remove Legionella bacteria.
- Restrict access to any areas of the hotel where Legionella growth may occur, such as the roof,cooling towers, fountain areas, and machine rooms.
- Encourage guests to report water problems immediately.
The Importance of Professional Water Treatment + Management Services
Hotels are a common place for Legionella bacteria to grow, as the warm and humid environment is perfect for the bacteria to thrive. Outbreaks of Legionella have been known to occur in hotels and can be very dangerous, potentially causing death in vulnerable individuals. There are a few ways that hotel owners can reduce the chances of a Legionella outbreak.
The most important way to prevent an outbreak is through professional water treatment and management services. By having a team of professionals regularly monitor and treat the hotel’s water systems, the chance of bacteria growth is greatly reduced. Additionally, hotel staff should be educated on how to identify and report any potential risks or outbreaks.
It is also important to keep the hotel’s water systems clean and well-maintained. This includes cleaning taps, showers, and other fixtures on a regular basis. Guests should also be advised to allow sinks and shower water run for 10 minutes prior to their first time use. This can bring fresh disinfectant to the fixture prior to showering and washing.
By following these simple precautions and taking extra care of your building’s water systems, you can help reduce the risk of a Legionella outbreak in your hotel. For more information on how you can prevent the spread of Legionella in your hotel, reach out today to Tower Water’s team of water treatment experts at 212-518-6475.