Water treatment comprises a large segment of a facility’s water management plan alongside issues such as waste, environmental safety and efficiency. However, it can be hard to understand exactly what sorts of treatments will benefit your facility versus the risk of spending money on water system management strategies that are not necessary.
One thing is for certain: Legionella prevention should be included in any facility’s water treatment plan. The reasons for this range from health and safety concerns to potential issues with regulations and statewide requirements.
Why Include Legionella In Water Treatment?
Legionella is one type of bacteria that should always be included in a water treatment plan. The gram negative Legionella bacteria poses a particularly important threat, not only to a water system that could see itself contaminated by unwanted microorganisms but also to humans, who are susceptible to illness at the hands of this bacteria.
In fact, Legionella bacteria can cause multiple types of sickness in humans, ranging from the typically mild Pontiac fever that presents like the seasonal flu to the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease, which results in sudden and severe lung inflammation and pneumonia.
Most state and local governments will require some sort of Legionella prevention plan as part of a water treatment strategy because Legionella bacteria can travel for miles from their origin point thanks to their ability to survive in aerosolized water droplets in the air.
For these reasons, facilities should opt to treat their water comprehensively for Legionella before it becomes an issue. For both safety and regulatory compliance reasons, Legionella prevention is a staple in water treatment plans. However, setting up the proper prevention strategy for your facility means taking a personalized look at your specific equipment and risk factors.
What Does Legionella Prevention Add To A Water Treatment Plan?
Legionella prevention fits in smoothly with existing water treatment plans and typically requires minimal adjustment for facilities that already comprehensively examine the quality of their water.
Legionella bacteria thrive in a temperature of roughly 77 degrees Fahrenheit to 108 degrees Fahrenheit—a common range for some of the most frequently utilized pieces of machinery, such as hot tubs and cooling towers, especially ones that are sitting in direct sunlight for part of the day.
Legionella Prevention Methods
This means that Legionella prevention should be able to supplement your existing water treatment plan by introducing features such as water temperature monitoring. In addition, Legionella respond negatively to certain types of chemistry, which means that Legionella prevention may be as simple as introducing a new chemical or two to your existing strategy.
However, it is important that you thoroughly evaluate the function of your water system, as areas afflicted by biofilms, rust, corrosion, scaling and other issues could provide safe havens and nutrients for Legionella bacteria, helping them to survive the typical water treatment processes meant to kill them.
Additional Benefits Of Legionella Prevention
Adding more steps to your facility’s water treatment plan may seem like an annoyance, but treating your water for Legionella provides a wide variety of benefits. Of course, there is something to be said for the increased safety of your facility once you are sure that potentially deadly Legionella bacteria do not have a foothold to use your water system as the origin of an outbreak.
Removes Other Harmful Bacteria
However, water treatment that works on Legionella often tackles other harmful bacteria as well, leading to safer, cleaner water in general. One of the most common bacteria that thrives in water, E. coli, can also be hampered using the same processes that work well for Legionella.
These are just two of the many potentially harmful microorganisms in water that can be treated at the same time to improve the quality and safety of the water at your facility.
Remember, bacteria can still cause illness even if it is outside of your potable water sources; evaporation, steam and other means can propel contaminated water into the air and, as a result, into contact with humans as well.
Work With The Water Treatment Professionals To Keep Your Facility Safe
Whether you are considering how to put together a water treatment plan for the first time or you need assistance developing a more robust Legionella prevention strategy that fits into your existing system, it is important that you work with the experts.
The pros at Tower Water understand that Legionella prevention cannot be approached with a cookie-cutter method; your facility is unique, and so are your needs. Reach out to schedule an evaulation to discuss your individual building’s risk factors and potential prevention strategies so that you can keep your water safe.