If you are in charge of making decisions about your building’s water system, you may have already heard about Legionella. This dangerous bacteria can appear in any freshwater system, so whether you are working with a cooling tower, hot tub, or just a water line that has not been treated recently, you may need to deal with the threat that these microbes can pose. The first step to determining how you should proceed with your water system is to undergo a Legionella risk assessment.
The Basics Of A Legionella Risk Assessment
A Legionella risk assessment is best performed by an experienced technician who has the tools and knowledge required to accurately determine whether Legionella is a risk for you. A risk assessment is broken up into multiple parts that are all simple but necessary.
First, a skilled water systems expert will come to your location to examine your system. This includes not only the structure and type of equipment that you are using but also other factors such as water temperature, recent construction, and any water treatment plans that you are currently using. This can help to determine whether Legionella already exists in your system and whether you are at risk.
The next step will depend upon what the assessment finds. If you already have Legionella, the technician will work with you to develop a plan for making your water safe again. If you are at risk or do not yet have Legionella in your water, this is the right time to work with an expert to develop a plan of action for the future.
How Does A Legionella Risk Assessment Help?
A Legionella risk assessment is a critical part of keeping the people in your building safe. Legionella is a dangerous bacterium that can cause severe and potentially even fatal illnesses. It is most associated with its namesake Legionnaires’ disease, which manifests as severe infection and pneumonia. Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal in up to 10% of the individuals who fall ill.
Legionella bacteria are also responsible for Pontiac fever, a less severe but still problematic illness that presents similarly to the flu. Those affected typically experience body aches, chills, loss of appetite and subsequent loss of weight, and diarrhea that can cause dehydration.
Legionella bacteria spread to humans via water droplets, so areas in your water system that create mist like showerheads or cooling towers are the most common culprits. A Legionella risk assessment can help you make informed choices to keep people safe.
Assesses & Mitigates Legionella Risk
When your assessment begins, a technician will review what risk factors are currently present in your system that could contribute to Legionella. One of the most common is tepid water temperatures, since Legionella thrive in warm water. If your pipes contain corrosion or other risk factors, Legionella can find a safe location to proliferate, and you will need to understand the next steps for reducing the spread of Legionella in your system.
Helps To Determine An Intervention Plan
Once you have determined the state of your system in regard to Legionella, the expert can help you create a plan. This strategy will remove any Legionella currently in your system and set you up for success in preventing the recurrence of this bacteria in the future. Preventing Legionella is a consistent process, and determining what your plan is before you experience an outbreak will keep everyone as safe and healthy as possible.
Guides Individuals Through Inspections
Once your system has been assessed for Legionella, you can set up regular inspections and checks to ensure that your freshwater is free from bacteria. An expert can guide you through how your system should be inspected and what your role will be in keeping your water treatment plan in effect. This may include annual Legionella assessments from a professional as well as remote monitoring and other options. If you choose to install devices that help you to monitor your water at all times, you can benefit from easy access to apps and alerts that inform you of the current state of your system. If your water temperature drops or rises into a danger zone that promotes Legionella growth, smart tools can alert you immediately so that you can address the needs of your system.
Contact The Legionella Compliance Professionals
Whether you currently have an active Legionella outbreak or are simply doing your due diligence in keeping your water system clean and well cared for, it is in your best interest to work with an expert during a Legionella risk assessment. Tower Water would be happy to assist you in checking your water for this dangerous bacteria. Together, we can develop a plan to keep your water system safe so that Legionella is never an issue in your building.