Legionella bacteria can lead to Legionnaires’ disease and Pontiac fever infections in humans, both caused by inhaling water droplets containing this bacteria.
An effective water management plan can inhibit the spread of these bacteria, leading to increased public health outcomes.
Legionella bacteria are most often found in natural water courses such as streams and rivers; however, they can also thrive in artificially constructed systems like cooling towers, hot and cold water systems, whirlpool baths, air conditioning units and humidifiers.
If temperatures range between 20-45 degrees C and nutrients such as sludge, rust scale and algae are available, conditions in these systems can become conducive for legionella growth.
People become infected by inhaling airborne droplets of water containing legionella bacteria.
Once inside their lungs, this strain of pneumonia can lead to Legionnaires’ disease; other possible complications include sudden fall in blood pressure reducing how much blood is being circulated around the body, septic shock, sudden decreases in heart and kidney failure and multi-organ failure including acute kidney and heart failure.
Domestic plumbing infections are rare and typically limited to shower nozzles, combination hot/cold water faucets, storage tanks and whirlpool baths. You can visit this helpful site to learn more about bacterial risks associated with public hot tubs. Being knowledgeable about these issues can help you to prevent illness.
Prevention includes correct installation, regular flushing of hot water systems and maintaining a residual disinfectant level in order to recirculate cold water; using scald protection where applicable (e.g. elderly and disabled people). You cannot contract Legionnaires’ disease from drinking contaminated water directly or from direct person-to-person transmission.
Legionella bacteria can be found throughout natural water sources and transmitted via aerosolized droplets. Legionella tends to thrive in non-frequently flushed systems; residential properties may also host environments conducive for legionella growth if conditions allow.
Poorly managed and sanitised water supply systems can support the growth of Legionella and Pseudomonas bacteria, both of which can infect humans through drinking too warm water. You can click the link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/pseudomonas-aeruginosa to learn more about Pseudomonas bacteria.
Legionella has proven resilient against disinfection efforts by hiding inside cysts formed within free-living amoebae and protozoa hosts or biofilms that form within water systems; its bacteria have even found ways to survive disinfection processes by hiding itself inside these hosts or biofilms that form.
Legionnaires’ disease affects people of all ages; however, those over 45 are at higher risk; smokers and heavy drinkers are particularly prone to getting it, those suffering from chronic lung diseases (emphysema or diabetes) have lower immunity, as do patients in hospitals or nursing homes.
Reducing Legionella risk in buildings or water systems requires creating and implementing a water safety plan. This should involve identifying risks, selecting control measures to address them, monitoring/validating/adjusting these controls as necessary and making adjustments as needed. You can visit totalwater.co.uk for more information. Creating an actionable plan is essential to controlling this public health issue.
Water samples should be regularly taken from “sentinel” outlets (e.g. nearest each tank or cylinder) and their temperatures inspected. Stagnant water encourages Legionella growth, so regularly flush out infrequently used taps and showerheads (including unplugging ‘dead legs’ from pipes) with freshly flushed water as a preventative measure and clean and descale these devices every three months for maintenance and descale procedures.
Both hot and cold water storage tanks should also be drained and inspected on a risk evaluation basis. This should be conducted or overseen by experts who can ensure favorable outcomes.
Biocides are compounds designed to kill microbes; they may be used to mitigate Legionella risk in problem water systems, and are commonly found in large cooling towers and domestic water supply systems. You can purchase biocides from various chemical suppliers.
Legionella bacteria are capable of causing legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever, two potentially lethal forms of pneumonia.
Legionella can be prevented through designing water systems to minimize unfavorable temperature gradients and ensure adequate circulation.
A risk assessment must first be conducted to identify those system elements essential to controlling Legionella, then an effective water management program must be designed and implemented. This includes sampling and testing hot and cold water sources as needed and tracking parameters within their limits to confirm effectiveness of control measures taken.
Hot and cold water systems should be designed with thermostatic mixing valves as close as possible to outlets to avoid scalding while still permitting temperatures above 50degC.
Water samples should be assessed based on risk assessments, while systems should be regularly cleaned in order to reduce contamination and stagnation.
In cases where Legionella contamination exists, biocides such as halogen oxidizers, peroxides or non-oxidizing chlorine dioxide is used periodically as biocide treatment to inhibit its spread.
With a simple management plan, avoiding Legionella can be a simple process. Proper testing is essential to management.