LEGIONELLA: A Rising Threat to Water Management Health & Safety Part 2 - Alliance
November 1, 2016

LEGIONELLA: A Rising Threat to Water Management Health & Safety Part 2

Written by Alliance Environmental

If you have yet to develop a Legionella water management program (plan to reduce the risk of Legionella growth and spread) you may not be certain where, or how to start. In order to fully understand the threat of Legionella in water management systems, it is important to be able to identify what it is, the places it grows, and how it spreads. Legionella can grow in many parts of building water systems that are continually wet. Certain devices can then spread contaminated aerosolized water droplets. Examples of potential growth areas:

  • Hot and cold water storage tanks
  • Water heaters
  • Water-hammer arrestors
  • Expansion tanks
  • Water filters
  • Electronic and manual faucets*
  • Aerators
  • Faucet flow restrictors
  • Showerheads* and hoses
  • Pipes, valves, and fittings
  • Centrally-installed misters*, atomizers*, air washers*, and humidifiers*
  • No steam aerosol-generating humidifiers*
  • Infrequently used equipment, including eyewash stations*
  • Ice machines*
  • Hot tubs*
  • Decorative fountains*
  • Cooling towers*
  • Medical devices* (such as CPAP machines, hydrotherapy equipment,

    bronchoscopes)

    *These devices can spread Legionella through aerosols or aspiration.

    There are external and internal factors to buildings that can also cause Legionella growth. External factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Construction: Vibrations and changes in water pressure can dislodge biofilm and free Legionella into the water entering your building.
  • Water main breaks: Changes in water pressure can dislodge biofilm and free Legionella into the water, while dirt and other materials can be introduced into the water and use up disinfectant.
  • Changes in municipal water quality: Changes in water quality can increase sediment, lower disinfectant levels, increase turbidity, or cause pH to be outside recommended ranges. Changes in disinfectant type can impact how you should monitor your program.

Internal factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Biofilm: Protects Legionella from heat and disinfectant; provides food and shelter to germs; grows on any surface that is constantly moist and can last for decades.
  • Scale and sediment: Uses up disinfectant and creates a protected home for Legionella and other germs.
  • Water temperature fluctuations: Provide conditions where Legionella grows best (77°F–108°F); Legionella can still grow outside this range.
  • Water pressure changes: Can cause biofilm to dislodge, colonizing downstream devices.
  • pH: Disinfectants are most effective within a narrow range (approximately 6.5 to 8.5) Many things can cause the hot water temperature to drop into the range where Legionella can grow, including low settings on water heaters, heat loss as water travels through long pipes away from the heat source, mixing cold and hot water within the plumbing system, heat transfer (when cold and hot water pipes are too close together), or heat loss due to water stagnation. In hot weather, cold water in pipes can heat up into this range.
  • Inadequate disinfectant: Does not kill or inactivate Legionella. Even if the water entering your building is of high quality, it may contain Legionella. In some buildings, processes such as heating, storing, and filtering can degrade the quality of the water. These processes use up the disinfectant the water entered with, allowing the few Legionella that entered to grow into a large number if not controlled.
  • Water stagnation: Encourages biofilm growth and reduces temperature and levels of disinfectant. Common issues that contribute to water stagnation include renovations that lead to ‘dead legs’ and reduced building occupancy, which can occur in hotels during off-peak seasons, for example. Stagnation can also occur when fixtures go unused, like a rarely used shower in a hospital room.

    Over the next two weeks, Alliance Environmental Group and Airtek Indoor Solutions will lay out a comprehensive guide to developing, implementing, and evaluating an effective Legionella water management program for your building. Though our assistance is in line with industry standards, it is imperative to follow all relevant federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances for your specific building.

    For additional information about the growth and spread of Legionnaires’ disease, visit: www.cdc.gov/legionella.

    Alliance Environmental Group, Inc. is a leading environmental contractor in California, with more than 75 years of experience. Alliance Environmental Group and Airtek Indoor Solutions provides innovative resolutions in the areas of: asbestos, lead, and mold abatement; air and

HVAC duct cleaning; heat treatment for pest control; structural pasteurization; demolition and emergency response. The company has successfully completed over 120,000 remediation projects in California and surrounding areas.

For additional information about the company and its services, visit: www.alliance- enviro.com.

Related

Other Indoor Air Quality Posts

View Category
January 6, 2022
-
Alliance Environmental
ALLIANCE NEWS – NEWSLETTER 20
Here’s wishing you a wonderful start to 2022 and a prosperous year ahead. With a new year, we are afforded with the opportunity for us to focus on ensuring safety while effectively addressing indoor air quality and the need for us as a community to maintain clean and sanitary environments at home, school, workplace, or…
December 27, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
The HOA & Manager’s Guide to Mold in Apartment Complexes
Winter is here and that means one thing when it comes to mold: it’s time for it to grow and spread. Since mold prefers areas with high humidity and moisture, winter can pose an issue for apartment and condo complexes in particular as it is harder for these spaces to regulate the condensation that happens…
December 20, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
Dangers of Lead in Children’s Toys and the Home
Protecting families from health risks is something everybody wants to do, and within many homes, there are still risks of lead poisoning for children and adults alike. Lead has been banned in many household products and children’s toys, but it is still a problem that can affect families. The holiday season is a big time…
December 17, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
Your Guide to Prepping Facilities for Winter
When we think of winterizing, we often simply think about preparing for the colder temperatures, ensuring that pipes don’t burst and the like. But proper winterization is about more than inspecting pipes. It’s about improving the heating efficiency in your facilities, increasing safety and workflows, and ensuring that the occupants are comfortable and content throughout…
December 13, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
Understanding Asbestos Risks During Winter Renovations
The holiday and winter seasons are a great time to get together with family and friends, however, it is also a great time to get some home renovations done while off from work. These renovations are often small, but they can still come with risks if working on an older home that could contain asbestos.…
December 2, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
ALLIANCE NEWS – NEWSLETTER 19
December has dawned upon us, and we have entered the final stretch of what can be summarized as a tumultuous year. The holiday season is here, and as we look back on the past year, we can reflect on how we have had to adapt to pandemic life and living in this new normal way…
November 2, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
ALLIANCE NEWS – NEWSLETTER 18
We have just commenced with the penultimate month of the year, and we have a lot to be thankful for. November marks National Gratitude month. As we move ahead with our daily lives and routines, we should be reminded of the importance of Thanksgiving and giving back. In chronological order, November 11 is Veterans Day.…
October 26, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
Airtek Indoor Air Solutions, Mintie Service, and Coast IAQ & Life Safety Services effective January 1 2022, will become Alliance Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) & Life Safety Services
AZUSA, Calif., Oct. 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Alliance Environmental's Co-founders Jeff and Joe McLean are proud to introduce Alliance IAQ & Life Safety Services.
October 21, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
Student Health Changes – The Link Could be Mold
Mold, hiding inside the walls and ceilings of public buildings, especially schools, is more common than previously thought. This is because it is often difficult to detect, and health and safety regulators have been slow to react.
October 20, 2021
-
Alliance Environmental
MINTIE Provides Proven Worldwide COVID Surge Capacity Solution as International Infection Prevention Week Highlights Tireless Efforts and Bravery of Worldwide Infection Control Community
AZUSA, Calif., Oct. 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the worldwide healthcare industry commemorating International Infection Prevention Week, October 17-23, MINTIE LLC, a third-generation healthcare product innovator and an Alliance Environmental Group company, continues its efforts at infection prevention in the fight against COVID-19 and the Delta Variant.
View Category