Are Your Cooling Towers Prepared to Fight Legionella?

By: RK Water

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that Legionnaires’ disease nearly quadrupled in the United States from 2000 to 2015, and most cases could have been prevented with water treatment solutions to prohibit legionella bacterial growth in water.

From 2000 through 2014, legionellosis increased nearly fourfold, from .42 to 1.62 cases per 100,000 persons. The disease is contracted when a person breathes small droplets of water contaminated with the bacteria Legionella. In the past year, about 5,000 Americans were diagnosed, and more than 20 outbreaks were reported. About one in ten infected persons will die from the infection, and most require hospital care to make a full recovery.

The CDC cited that cooling towers are a common source of infection and must be properly maintained to prevent legionellosis, and they recently released a toolkit: Developing a Water Management Program to Reduce Legionalla Growth and Spread in Buildlings: A Practical Guide to Implementing Standards.

Most facilities managers are now familiar with ASHRAE 188-2015 which mandates that everyone with responsibility for centralized water systems-owners, corporate managers, operators and facility managers-must proactively reduce and prevent legionella growth. RK Water provides chemical treatment programs that can be added to existing water treatment programs to reduce the odds of legionella.

We also offer innovative non-chemical technologies like Silver Bullet which uses biocide oxidizers, known as hydroxyl radicals, to kill bacteria and maintain it at low and safe levels-even more effectively than chlorine. In a 2012 University of Pittsburgh study, Silver Bullet™ reduced free-floating legionella bacteria concentration by 78.1{daeb8d662f58e4975bc93960761d671bdf0aa2ad049ea8a375d2717d280ef80b}. It also reduced free-floating Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) bacteria by 98.8{daeb8d662f58e4975bc93960761d671bdf0aa2ad049ea8a375d2717d280ef80b} and immobile HPC bacteria by 85.9{daeb8d662f58e4975bc93960761d671bdf0aa2ad049ea8a375d2717d280ef80b}. The HPC test measures microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and mold in drinking water.

Silver Bullet is safe, quick to install and doesn’t require a large capital investment. The equipment is installed at a facility as an adjunct to its existing water system and the facility pays a monthly rental fee. No large equipment to purchase, and RK Water handles installation, service and maintenance. Want to protect your water system from Legionella? Consider Silver Bullet if you prefer a non-chemical, sustainable solution.