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Minimising risk of Legionella should remain a top priority for facilities managers
While many facilities are focusing on the proper precautions for preventing the spread of Covid-19 and maintaining a healthy and safe work environment, Goodway Technologies is sharing a reminder to be proactive in reducing the risk of a harmful bacteria that continues to impact facilities - Legionella.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, health departments in the US alone reported 10,000 cases of Legionnaires' disease in 2018. In 2021, the US has already seen outbreaks in a hospital, senior living centre and an apartment complex.
"It is understandable, and necessary, that facilities managers are putting cleaning and sanitation as a top priority as the pandemic continues, but there are concerns that other maintenance task are being deferred that could cause harm," warns Tim Kane, president and CEO of Goodway Technologies.
"The potential for an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease could increase if facilities aren't taking the appropriate steps to perform routine maintenance tasks."
While there are several potential sources for Legionella, one of the most likely candidates is an infected cooling tower. Poorly maintained cooling towers are an ideal place for Legionella to flourish, due to accumulated algae, mould or bacteria mixing with the tower's warm water. This creates a perfect environment for a possible outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.
Goodway Technologies recommends the following preventative maintenance steps to reduce the risk of Legionella developing in a facility:
* Inspect towers monthly... Look for sediment, scale and slime, which can lead to buildup and help Legionella grow and thrive.
* Clean tower basin surfaces... Clean the basin when sediment is visible. Cooling tower vacuums make it easier to remove contaminants without shutting down or draining your system.
* Clean the fill... The tower fill is the perfect environment for bacterial growth, especially Legionella. A cooling tower fill cleaner will remove limescale and debris.
* Treat circulating water... Dose biocides at recommended levels and consider monthly testing for Legionella bacteria to stay on top of any possible outbreaks.
* Drain, clean, and disinfect annually... At least once a year, take the time to drain your system and perform a thorough cleaning and disinfection before turning it back on. Consider similar maintenance if your system has been offline for a long period of time.
In addition to lowering the risk for Legionnella growth, caring for the cooling tower can also save money in energy and equipment costs. Chillers, heat exchangers and pumps will remain cleaner and last longer. Putting together a maintenance plan and developing proper procedures is no longer optional. Taking these steps now can minimise the risks of an outbreak in a facility.
Founded in 1966, Goodway Technologies is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company.
18th February 2021