In 2022, there have been several reports of Legionnaires’ disease throughout different buildings in NYC. Legionnaires’ disease can be a serious problem in New York City due to the fact that HVAC systems in buildings can easily become breeding grounds for this potentially deadly bacteria.
This is one of the main reasons why having professional water treatment services for your building can help to prevent the development of legionella and help keep the city a safe and sanitary place to live.
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 cause illness when they are inhaled. Legionnaires’ disease is most often spread through the air in contaminated aerosols, such as mist from cooling towers. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated water, such as water features or holding tanks.
Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease occur in people who are 50 years of age or older, but it can also occur in younger people. Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle aches
More importantly, Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal in up to 30% of cases. This makes it very important for businesses to ensure that their water treatment protocols are comprehensive and that they take care of their systems to ensure legionella bacteria are unable to develop or spread.
How Legionnaire’s Disease Spreads
Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection caused by a strain of bacteria called legionella. The bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease spreads through the air in droplets of water and is easily spread by sources such as cooling towers, or simply by transmission from one exposed person to another. When a source of water begins to develop a legionella bacteria buildup, it can be difficult to stop the spread of these microorganisms.
Any area of a building where water is present or stored, especially in pools of water such as the cooling tower, is vulnerable to legionella bacteria buildups. The main factors that lead to legionella bacteria buildup in water systems include:
- Poor maintenance of water systems
- Lack of regular cleaning and disinfection of water systems
- Low levels of chlorine in the water
- Cooling towers that are not properly maintained
- The buildup of slime and organic matter in water systems
The Role of Water Treatment in Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease
Proper water treatment is the most important factor in preventing Legionnaires’ disease. The water treatment process helps to remove bacteria and other contaminants from the water supply and ensures that it is an environment that is not suitable for the bacteria to grow.
There are a number of different water treatment technologies that can be used, including chlorination, ozone treatment, and ultraviolet light treatment. Treatment systems can also be customized to fit the specific needs of a facility, which can help to ensure that all areas are properly protected against legionella. Proper water treatment practices will address all of the above-mentioned factors that can lead to bacterial buildup if not handled properly by a professional water treatment company.
The most important water treatment services that help to prevent legionella include
Regularly testing water for the presence of legionella bacteria
By testing your water regularly for the presence of these bacteria, you can take steps to clean or disinfect your water system if necessary and prevent the spread of bacteria before it progresses.
Treating water with chlorine and other disinfectants to kill the bacteria
Chlorine and other disinfectants used in water treatment systems are the most common way of killing legionella bacteria before they are able to spread. It is important to maintain these systems and to regularly treat water with disinfectants to kill the bacteria.
Providing proper maintenance and cleaning of water systems and fixtures
Properly maintaining water treatment equipment is of prime importance when attempting to mitigate the growth of legionella. It is crucial to perform regular maintenance and ensure that all pumps and filters are working properly and that the equipment is not developing any organic buildup that may need to be removed.
Educating staff and residents about how to prevent the spread of legionella bacteria
Legionella bacteria can also grow and multiply in stationary warm water, so it’s important that staff know how to prevent the spread of these bacteria and where they can be found. Staff should ensure that water temperatures in facilities do not go below 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). In addition, staff should routinely clean and disinfect all equipment.
Preventing Legionella Growth Before It Begins With Tower Water
Professional water treatment services play a critical role in preventing the growth of legionella bacteria. By regularly testing and treating water systems, performing routine maintenance, and ensuring proper employee education, a professional team can help to ensure that legionella does not have a chance to take hold and spread in your place of business.
Effective water treatment also helps to keep water systems clean and clear of other contaminants that could pose a health risk. When it comes to Legionnaires’ disease, prevention is key. For more information on how Tower Water can help you prevent legionella bacteria buildup before they have a chance to start, reach out to our team of experts today at 212-518-6475.