Legionella is a deadly bacteria that has recently made ripples throughout the NYC region. After a recent outbreak that claimed the lives of two people and caused serious illness in dozens more, the outbreak has thankfully come to an official end.
Looking forward to the future, it is important for companies and businesses in NYC that use, store, or process water to remain extra vigilant during the summer months. This ensures that this deadly bacteria is not able to grow and spread to susceptible, non-expecting victims in NYC. How can this be done? The first step is education.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella Pneumophila. The bacteria are commonly found in water and can contaminate cooling towers, plumbing, and other water systems.
People can become infected if they breathe in small droplets of contaminated water, which means that it can easily spread across city populations. Legionnaires’ disease can be deadly, especially in people with weakened immune systems.
Legionella is the bacteria responsible for this deadly disease. The bacteria can spread through water droplets in the air, such as HVAC systems and cooling towers. People can also get infected by drinking contaminated water. Legionella is usually not harmful, but it can be deadly if it enters the lungs. Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The illness can be treated with antibiotics, but it sometimes results in death.
What Causes Legionella Outbreaks?
Legionella bacteria thrives in warm water, so it is often found in cooling towers, plumbing systems, water heaters, and other places where water temperatures are high. It can also be found in potable water systems, although it is not typically a problem in these systems unless conditions are conducive to its growth.
In order to prevent Legionella outbreaks, it is important to use professional water treatment services. These services can help clean and disinfect water systems, making it difficult for Legionella bacteria to survive.
How To Prevent Legionella Outbreaks
Legionella outbreaks have been on the rise in recent years, with New York City being hit especially hard. In order to prevent these outbreaks, it is important to understand what legionella is, how it spreads, and why it can be so deadly.
The bacteria can spread through water droplets in the air, such as from cooling towers and other sources. People can become infected by breathing in the bacteria, and the infection can be deadly in some cases.
There are several steps that cities can take to help prevent legionella outbreaks from occurring:
1. Proper Water Treatment
One of the most important steps is ensuring that all water systems are properly treated with chlorine or another disinfectant. This helps kill the bacteria and prevents it from spreading. Cities should also regularly test for legionella and make sure that any potential sources of contamination are addressed quickly.
2. Cooling Tower Inspections
Cooling towers are a common site for legionella outbreaks, as the warm, moist environment is perfect for the bacteria to grow. In order to prevent an outbreak, it is important to conduct regular inspections of the cooling tower. The inspection should include a review of the water treatment system and the cleaning and maintenance schedule.
3. Regular Equipment Maintenance
In order for these towers to function properly, however, it is important that they undergo regular maintenance services. This includes cleaning and disinfecting the water that is used to cool the machinery and equipment in the building. If this is not done on a regular basis, the risk of legionella outbreaks increases significantly.
4. Summer Preparation
Cooling towers are very vulnerable to legionella during the warm summer months, as the warm and moist environment is perfect for the bacteria to thrive. In order to help prevent an outbreak, it is important to take the necessary precautions to prepare the cooling tower for the summer season.
This includes cleaning and disinfecting the tower, flushing out any build-up of sediment or biofilm, and making sure that the water treatment system is functioning properly. By taking these precautions, cities can help minimize the risk of legionella outbreaks and keep their residents safe.
Keep Your Cooling Towers Clean and Free of Legionella All Year
Professional treatment services use specialized chemicals and methods to get rid cooling towers of all bacteria, including legionella. Treatment services also test towers regularly to ensure that they remain bacteria-free and are in good shape to resist bacteria buildups all year.
This helps protect the city from outbreaks and keeps its residents safe. If you want to ensure your water systems are up to the highest standard and able to resist deadly bacterial buildups, reach out to our team of experts today at 212-518-6475.