Legionella & Water Management Webinar Recap

On Tuesday, December 5th, The Metro Group, Inc. hosted its first of many upcoming webinars that will be discussing and educating on subjects relating to Water Treatment, Water Management, and Boiler/Burner Efficiency Testing and Care. This particular webinar titled “Legionella & Water Management and Real-World Experience for Building Water Management Plans,” was a free webinar training that focused on the Do’s and Don’ts of putting together a Water Management Plan to reduce the risk of Legionella in facility water systems, based on the real-world experience of Metro’s water treatment professionals. The seminar was designed for the building personnel responsible for creating and implementing plans. Afterwards, the attendees left the webinar with an understanding of what a Water Management Plan is, where and how to get started with one, and how to stay in compliance with the various regulations and mandates, including the CMS policy for the Healthcare Industry and the New York State legislation for Cooling Towers and Potable Water Systems.

The webinar lasted about 45 minutes with time for a helpful Q&A to end the presentation. Overall, the high turnout and positive feedback will be useful for conducting webinars in the future. If you are interested in attending this webinar, an encore presentation will be held on December 21st from 2:00pm-3:00 pm EST.

 Who should attend?

• Building Owners & Agents • Facilities & Maintenance • Infection Control & EHS • Engineering & Operations Agenda: • Brief overview of Legionella • Building Water Systems at Risk • Water Management Plan’s, Defined • Current Legislation & Guidelines

Register at the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/818696745306708993

Or visit our site to join our mailing list and keep up with any and all upcoming webinars:

www.metrogroupinc.com

 

Legionella Testing on Potable Water Systems

For those Facilities carrying out Legionella testing on potable water systems, please consider the following suggestions in your quest to be compliant.  We should not take the sampling approach lightly, with the lone objective to check the box that confirms samples were drawn.  Rather, please think carefully about your building’s piping infrastructure, and develop a true strategy.  When you plan a sampling event around the most probable places for hide-out, chances of detection improve exponentially.  Use prior testing as a guide, establish where there might there be low-flow, low-use zones, dead legs (to be corrected), and even rooms/spaces that have been sitting vacant for an extended period.  We are reminded in the news every day that the water samples tested are aimed at preventing disease, and that is the greater objective.

Written by:
John D. Caloritis, CWT
Technology Director
The Metro Group, Inc.
John is Chair of the AWT (Association of Water Technologies) Cooling Water Committee and a Member of the Association’s Legionella Task Force.

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Limit Litigation Liabilities – Healthcare Facilities

 Every administrator in a health care environment is interested in limiting litigation and liability. When it comes to potable water and the minimization of Legionella in this water system – there are some very definite steps that every institution can take to limit the liability and litigation potentials.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a document in June of 2017 that outlined expectations for Healthcare Facilities. These expectations follow closely the directives that New York State adopted in July of 2016 and the Standard 188 issued by American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), released in June of 2015. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has also offered a toolkit to assist with facilitating implementation of a Water Compliance Program. CMS expects Medicare certified healthcare facilities to implement water management policies and procedures to minimize the risk of growth and spread of Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens in building water systems.

Systems include: hot water systems, ice machines, decorative fountains, cooling towers, showerheads, eyewash stations, hot tubs, saunas, humidifiers, air washers.

The basic components of a Water Compliance Program will be:

Conduct a facility risk assessment. NYS DOH Form 5222 – Environmental Assessment of Water Systems in Healthcare Settings – is a valuable tool for identifying where Legionella and other waterborne pathogens could grow and spread in a facility water system.

  • Implement a Water Compliance Program that considers the ASHRAE Standard 188 and the CDC toolkit – to include control measures, temperature management, secondary disinfectant level control (if appropriate), visual inspections and environmental testing for pathogens and Legionella. NYS asks for quarterly testing initially (4 sample collection – 90 days apart. A minimum of 10 samples for a location with <500 beds. These samples are from “unique distal sites throughout the facility”).
  • Documentation of specific testing protocols and acceptable ranges for control measures and any necessary corrective actions that must be taken if an “actionable level” is detected.

Failure to comply with this directive to protect the health and safety of residents will greatly increase the potential for liability issues and litigation. In addition, the healthcare facility may be cited for non-compliance with the CMS Conditions of Participation and risk losing reimbursement from CMS.

Do the right thing to protect the residents of the facility and prevent unnecessary litigation and liability. – develop your Water Compliance Program today.

Mark Botsford, CWT

District Manager

THE METRO GROUP, INC.

mbotsford@metrogroupinc.com

315.345.2437

 

 

Understanding a Cooling Tower MPP Series: Part 6

Start-up and Shutdown Procedures

For the next section of our MPP series we will talk about the Start-Up and Shutdown procedures that must be included in an MPP. As this is considered a very important element of the Maintenance Program & Plan the Department of Health has broken these requirements into its own statute of code that correlates with the MPP requirement (RCNY 8-06).

To start the MPP must reference procedures that cover the following Start-Up Requirements:

  • The tower must be cleaned and disinfected anytime a tower is offline (drained of water) for more than 5 days. This cleaning must be performed within 15 days of first seasonal use of the tower
  • A legionella sample must be pulled before any tower offline for more than 5 days is put into use
  • A pre-startup inspection must be performed by a qualified person before being put into use

These requirements are in place to lessen to the greatest extent feasible the possibility of a dangerous legionella condition. As it is possible with dead-legs or low-flow areas of a cooling tower to have water that is sitting stagnant while the system is not in use. Without proper procedures these conditions can harbor high amounts of bacteria if not disinfected and cleaned when putting a cooling tower into use.

System shutdown must include the following:

  • Perform adequate system shutdown according to cooling tower manufacturers specifications
  • (Typically as part of a manufacturers shutdown these common items would be included)
  1. Decommission and lock-out all tower circulation pumps and fans
  2. Valve off and drain/winterize the fresh water makeup line
  3. Drain the cooling tower of all water and drain the tower piping below the roof line to prevent freezing
  4. Leave all tower drain valves in the open position to minimize accumulation of water in the tower during the winter season
  • The other requirement is that the system must be protected from offline contamination

If all of the above items are covered, any cooling tower will be much safer and less likely to harbor harmful bacteria.

For assistance in creation or management of an MPP please contact The Metro Group at 718-729-7200

 

MPP Series Part 1: https://metrogroupinc.com/understanding-mpp-series/

MPP Series Part 2: https://metrogroupinc.com/understanding-mpp-series-part-2/

MPP Series Part 3: https://metrogroupinc.com/understanding-cooling-tower-mpp-series-risk-assessment/#respond

MPP Series Part 4: https://metrogroupinc.com/understanding-cooling-tower-mpp-series-part-4/

MPP Series Part 5: https://metrogroupinc.com/understanding-cooling-tower-mpp-series-part-5/

Cooling Tower Disease Prevention

In addition to corrosion, deposit, and general fouling prevention, responsible cooling water treatment must now also involve disease prevention.  An increasingly important tool for augmenting the chemical water treatment program is filtration.  While cooling water filters come in many designs, a properly selected filter offers two primary benefits:

  • Particulate Removal – Suspended solids that are not properly dispersed and removed from recirculating water through normal treatment and bleed-off, can provide nutrient sources which encourage microbial growth, fouling of heat transfer surfaces and bio-film formation.  All lead to accelerated water system problems, and an unnecessary demand for chemicals to keep the system in check.  Filtered recirculating water reduces the chance for elevated bacteria and supports the goals for disease prevention in cooling tower systems.
  • Continuous Flow – Many filters utilize separate recirculating pumps.  These can be set to operate in the “stagnant” or “idle” periods that otherwise cause sizable operational challenges. The continuous flow of cooling water when evaporation (and heat rejection) is not required, offers the facility some important benefits.  Keeping the water moving is the key to effective water management.  With filter systems we are able to extend seasonal operation, continuously clean sumps and pans, and most importantly provide an opportunity to effectively test and treat cooling water with biocides to control disease-bearing organisms.

Be sure to ask your water treatment consultant their opinions on the use of cooling water filtration.

Written by:
John D. Caloritis, CWT
Technology Director
The Metro Group, Inc.
John is Chair of the AWT (Association of Water Technologies) Cooling Water Committee and a Member of the Association’s Legionella Task Force.

Corrosion and Bacterial Problems in Off-line Chillers

Many large commercial and healthcare facilities are designed with multiple chillers that get their condenser water from a single large tower water system. During the summer months, when the comfort cooling demand is high, there is a regular flow of tower water through all of the chillers. The tower system is treated with a corrosion inhibitor, an oxidizing biocide and a non-oxidizing biocide that are designed to control corrosion and bacterial growth in the system.

During the cooler months, it is often the case, that only a single chiller is needed to provide comfort cooling to the building. This may leave one or more chillers idle for long periods of time. In most cases, there is a motorized valve, on the inlet side of the chillers that interrupts the flow of tower water to the chillers that are not running.

The chillers that are offline, see no flow, and become a large dead leg. Because there is no regular flow of water through these chillers, no inhibitor or biocide will be introduced. The lack of chemicals will accelerate corrosion and bacterial growth inside the tube bundles of these machines. A secondary problem associated with this condition is the potential for bacterial growth (Legionella) inside the idle chillers that may migrate into the bulk tower water.

The solution to this problem is your Energy Management System. Biocides are added by a specific timed program. Simply program your computer system to open the valves that control the flow of water through the idle chillers when a biocide addition is happening. This will allow treated tower water to enter the chiller bundle thus eliminating the biological and corrosion problem.

Brian R. Cusick CWT

The Metro Group, Inc.

Complimentary Webinar on Legionella & Water Management – Real Word Experience for Building Water Management Plan’s – Presented by The Metro Group

The Metro Group is proud to present a free webinar training on the Do’s and Don’ts of putting together a Water Management Plan to reduce the risk of Legionella in facility water systems based on the real world experience of Metro’s water treatment professionals. This seminar has been designed for the building personnel responsible for creating and implementing plans; Facility Managers, Maintenance, Infection Control, EHS & Engineering.

The Metro Group has extensive experience creating & implementing plans, collecting Legionella samples, interpreting lab results and performing system cleanings, and we would like to share our experiences. Attendees will come away with an understanding of what a Water Management Plan is, where and how to get started with one, and how to stay in compliance with the various regulations and mandates, including the CMS policy for the Healthcare Industry and the New York State legislation for Cooling Towers and Potable Water Systems.

Who should attend?

  • Building Owners & Agents
  • Facilities & Maintenance
  • Infection Control & EHS
  • Engineering & Operations

 Agenda:

  • Brief overview of Legionella
  • Building Water Systems at Risk
  • Water Management Plan’s, Defined
  • Current Legislation & Guidelines

Click here to register today: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2990817149378147843

Preventing Seasonal Water System Damage

Winter is fast approaching. It is a well-documented, but often misunderstood fact that water system damage can and does occur when systems are NOT IN OPERATION.  The default belief is that problems only need to be controlled while a system is under flow and transferring heat.  Not true.  Some would argue that PM treatment is easy while things are flowing.  However, the water treatment professional should worry equally as much about what might happen in a semi-wet, or partially drained scenario.  For example, those facilities’ who operate seasonal cooling tower systems, particularly in colder climates, have an opportunity now to positively support waterside protection. What specifically should seasonal operation’s be concerned about?

  1. Freeze-Thaw of external Condenser Lines
  2. Semi-Wet, unprotected, stagnant cooling water left within the piping infrastructure and heat exchangers for several months.
  3. Cooling towers being drained (and/or started back up) without first being disinfected.
  4. The selective use of glycol to lay-up coils exposed to outside air

A proper chemical treatment regimen should address these concerns fully.  If a water system is seasonal, Facility Managers should develop and implement a plan which addresses the cleaning and lay-up protection of their systems in preparation for the ‘off-season.’  Make sure the water treatment professional on your team is on-board with these efforts, and that these practices are not overlooked.

Written by:
John D. Caloritis, CWT
Technology Director
The Metro Group, Inc.
John is Chair of the AWT (Association of Water Technologies) Cooling Water Committee and a Member of the Association’s Legionella Task Force.

 

Water Treatment Firms

When selecting a water treatment firm to work with, customers often wonder which base criteria will make the most difference. All things considered, many have found that selecting a member firm from the Association of Water Technologies is a great place to start (www.awt.org). Next, from within the AWT, look further to firms who have employees on staff that have achieved the important CWT distinction. The Certified Water Technologist (CWT) has undergone the industry’s most rigorous technical proficiency accreditation, and possesses the wisdom, business ethics and experience to support program development and coverage in your area. You will be assured of high quality and professional representation.

Written by:
John D. Caloritis, CWT
Technology Director
The Metro Group, Inc.
John is Chair of the AWT (Association of Water Technologies) Cooling Water Committee and a Member of the Association’s Legionella Task Force.