Legionnaires’ Disease Prevention

Arc Water Treatment actively helps customers monitor and prevent the spread of Legionnaires’ disease. This disease most commonly propagates in heated water environments, as in cooling towers, where the bacteria have an opportunity to grow and contaminate the mist emanating from the towers. People can only contract the disease by inhaling the bacteria from an airborne mist, such as from cooling towers. Usually it is the elderly or immune-deficient that are more susceptible to Legionnaires’ disease, which can be fatal if not detected and treated.

With increased publicity of outbreaks and better disease detection, there is more awareness of the potential harm from Legionella than ever before. It used to be doctors were not as attuned to testing for the Legionella pneumophila bacteria, so many cases were simply called pneumonia. But now, when an elderly patient has the symptoms, tests for Legionella pneumophila are readily done and the proper antibiotics are administered. More importantly, health officials are called right away to investigate the source of the disease, which often is found in a building’s cooling tower or domestic hot water supply.

It is this heightened awareness that should concern building owners and managers. If a source is found, building management can be held liable, such as the example of a developer having to replace 100 hot tubs in a resort built recently in California. Another harsh example is a health club in the United Kingdom going out of business after their spa was determined to be the source of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. It is more vital than ever to maintain a clean cooling tower, especially during the hot summer months, and to monitor the circulating water for the presence of Legionella pneumophila.

Arc Water Treatment can help in both of these areas. Our recommended complete chemical treatment program includes dual, alternating biocides to prevent biological growth. We recommend installing an advanced controller to ensure these biocides are properly controlled. We provide the chemicals monthly, ensure the proper working of all chemical treatment equipment, inspect the tower and report any buildup of dirt or algae that would give Legionella pneumophila an opportunity to grow.

We recommend testing for Legionella pneumophila regularly, and our Service Technicians and certified laboratory work closely to report test results promptly. It is most important to maintain a clean cooling tower, and to monitor it continuously, in order to prevent your systems from becoming a source for Legionnaires’ disease. With proper water treatment and a regular testing program, building management is exercising due diligence and should be protected from liability should an outbreak occur.

Click Here to Contact Us for a Legionella Bacteria Testing Kit and Literature.

Click Here for More Information on Arc’s Legionella Bacteria Testing.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionnaires’ Disease. (PDF)