Legionnaire’s disease bacteria found in water supply at Hastings hospital

This story has been updated on 12/28/2018.

Recent testing of the water supply at Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital in Hastings found positive results for Legionella bacteria.

Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease.

The results were reported to the Barry-Eaton District Health Department on Wednesday.

The testing was done after a second case of Legionnaire’s disease in patients at the hospital was identified in November.

It’s “unknown if the two recent cases at the hospital are directly connected to the Legionella found in the water supply,” according to the release. The hospital is providing alternative water sources, using water filtration and testing additional patients for Legionnaire’s disease.

Spectrum Health Pennock’s water supply comes from a private water plumbing system. The health department does not believe the city of Hastings’ municipal water supply is affected. According to a press release, the city’s water system is receiving its “(r)outine daily required bacteriological sampling.” Nothing of concern has been found currently.

Legionnaire’s disease is a kind of lung infection. Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headache and fever. It is treatable with antibiotics and cannot be spread from person to person.

The infection can happen when a person breathes in water droplets containing the bacteria.

The health department is working with Spectrum Health Pennock to monitor the water supply and protect patients.

Patients or visitors of the hospital concerned about Legionella can call (844) 689-2875 or (616) 391-9986.

More information about Legionnaire’s disease can be found on the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/legionella/fastfacts.html.

2017 CDC report Update

By  on 

A 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Legionnaires’ disease is widespread in long-term care facilities – and 75 percent of cases could be prevented with better water management.

The most recent example of this is happening currently at University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, where an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has resulted in 14 patients being sickened – and three of them dying. The primary suspect in the outbreak: a change in the hospital’s hot-water system, which was adjusted to save water.

“The flow was altered in the system,” Nasia Safdar, medical director of infection control for UW Health, said on Nov. 28, when the outbreak was first reported. “So, instead of being at a consistent high flow, it was altered to be more flexible to be on demand.”

Data from 2015 cases
The 2017 CDC report, using data from 2015, showed that Legionnaires’ disease kills 10 percent of those who are diagnosed from the general population. In a long-term care facility, such as University Hospital, that rate increases to 25 percent.

There were 2,809 cases of Legionnaires’ disease confirmed in the U.S. in 2015, including 85 (3 percent) considered “definite” and 468 (17 percent) considered “possible” health-care-associated cases. The study used information only from long-term-care patients, or anyone who had been in a health-care facility for 10 days or longer.

“In health-care facilities, people are more vulnerable and more likely to get sick if they are exposed to the pathogen,” Anne Schuchat, then-acting director of the CDC, said during a 2017 media telebriefing on the report. “Everything from shower heads, to decorative fountains, to respiratory equipment, could house Legionella.”

Patients vulnerable
The three patients who died at University Hospital all had “serious, life-limiting health conditions,” UW Health officials said, underscoring the vulnerability of bed-ridden hospital patients.

UW Health officials reported that test results from three patients showed the strain of Legionella was identical to that found in University Hospital’s water system. Samples were not taken from the other 11 patients.

Chlorine successful
University Hospital officials said the water system had been flushed with high levels of chlorine to eliminate Legionella, and the procedure has worked. “Testing completed so far continues to show the expected reduction in the bacteria,” officials said in a statement. “UW Health will continue intensive monitoring of its water system to ensure patient safety.”

University Hospital officials also said they have been working with the CDC, and a review and analysis from the federal organization are expected in about three months.

A disease on the rise
Legionnaires’ disease is “an emerging disease in the sense that the number of recorded cases of Legionnaires in the United States continues to increase,” according to Laura Cooley from the Respiratory Diseases Branch of the CDC.

Cooley said she believes that increase is due to the susceptibility of the general population, as well as the likelihood that there is more Legionella in the environment since warmer temperatures are creating the optimal conditions for bacterial growth.

Seventeen of the 18 warmest years since modern record-keeping began have happened since 2001, according to both the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The four warmest years all have occurred since 2014, with 2017 being the warmest non-El Niño year ever.

This year is shaping up to be the fourth-hottest year on record. The only years hotter were 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Legionnaires information

The CDC estimates that there are about 25,000 yearly cases in the United States, although only 5,000 are reported because of the disease’s nonspecific symptoms.

Those symptoms, which develop from two to 10 days after exposure to Legionella, usually start with:

  • fever, which can reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
  • severe headaches
  • muscle pains
  • chills.

By the second or third day, symptoms can worsen and include:

  • dyspnea (shortness of breath)
  • pleuritic chest pain (pleurisy), which occurs when the lining of the lungs is inflamed
  • cough, which can bring up mucus or blood
  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • mental agitation.

Legionella sources
Legionella bacteria, which cause Legionnaires’ disease, are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets (vapor or mist). The bacteria grow best in warm water, and they are found most commonly in human-made environments.

In addition to large water systems like those in health-care facilities, Legionella can be found in:

  • large plumbing systems
  • hot-water tanks and heaters
  • physical-therapy equipment
  • bathroom showers and faucets
  • decorative fountains
  • swimming pools, whirlpools, and hot tubs
  • mist machines, like those in the produce sections of grocery stores
  • hand-held sprayers
  • cooling towers of air conditioning systems.

 

Source: https://www.legionnairesdiseasenews.com/category/legionnaires-disease/

University of Wisconsin outbreak hits 11

Six new illnesses have been identified in the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at University Hospital in Madison, raising the case count to 11, according to UW Health officials. The outbreak was first reported on Nov. 28 when four cases of the deadly respiratory illness were confirmed. A fifth case and a fatality were announced the next day.
The new illnesses were not unexpected as officials expected the count to grow, due to the exposure window to Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. Symptoms can present up to 14 days after exposure, and other patients could present symptoms up until Dec. 12, according to a hospital press release.
Four of the patients remain hospitalized, while six have been discharged or treated as outpatients. Their conditions are considered stable, and an antibiotic treatment protocol is working as expected.
One patient, who had been hospitalized with multiple, serious health problems, died last week. At the time of that pronouncement, Lisa Brunette, UW Health direction of media relations, said the “death was not unexpected.”
Hyperchlorination of the hospital’s hot water system has been successful in the reducing the bacteria, but monitoring at multiple sites within University Hospital is ongoing.
“We are confident the hyperchlorination worked as expected,” said John Marx, UW Health senior infection control practice specialist. “An aggressive program of monitoring and screening is in place to ensure the system is functioning as designed. Our commitment to the safety of our patients is unwavering.”
UW Health is working with the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH) on mitigation and testing efforts and have extended an invitation to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asking them to act as an additional expert resource.
Incubation period still active
If you are a patient, visitor or employee of University Hospital and are feeling pneumonia- or flu-like symptoms, you should see your health-care provider out of an abundance of caution.
By News Services on December 8, 2018

Legionella discovered at McHenry Villa

“Legionnaires lawyer Elliot Olsen has regained millions of dollars for clients harmed by Legionnaires’ disease. If you or a family member contracted Legionnaires’ disease at McHenry Villa, you might have cause to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.
An Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) investigation uncovered Legionellabacteria and structural issues with the plumbing system at the McHenry Villa Senior Living facility in McHenry. Three residents were sickened with Legionnaires’ disease in early November, and one of them – former McHenry city mayor Donald P. Doherty – died Nov. 21.
The Legionnaires’ disease outbreak was the third to affect McHenry County in 2018.
The IDPH sent a notice of violation to McHenry Villa regarding the sanitary hazard in its plumbing system.
“Our concern is the health and safety of the McHenry Villa residents,” IDPH director Nirav D. Shah said in a press release. “Because this community is similar to an independently operated apartment complex, implementation of water-use restrictions is not feasible, and correction of the violations may not be possible while residents are occupying the building. IDPH is notifying McHenry Villa of the violations so the owners can remediate the plumbing system and provide a healthy living community for residents and staff.”
McHenry Villa executive director Noreen Zaio said that after consulting with IDPH, McHenry County officials and McHenry Villa’s water-quality management company, evacuation of residents was not necessary.
“We take this situation very seriously,” Zaio said. “Upon learning of the test results, McHenry Villa took immediate action and is implementing a remediation plan as directed by the state.”
In a letter to residents, McHenry Villa officials said they are committed to fully complying with IDPH’s directives and guidance and will inform residents and staff of their response. Possible actions that may be taken, according to IDPH public information officer Melaney Arnold, include:
  • hiring a consultant
  • adding or replacing filters on showers, sink faucets and fixtures
  • reviewing cooling tower operations.
Former mayor passes
Doherty, 91, died of Legionella at the JourneyCare CareCenter hospice facility in Woodstock, his son told the Chicago Tribune. A lifelong resident of McHenry, Doherty contracted Legionnaire’s disease at McHenry Villa, where he had been living. Doherty was mayor of McHenry from 1961 to 1973.
The conditions of the other two residents sickened were not released.
IDPH said all three patients had outside exposure, and two of the three could have been exposed at Centegra Hospital-McHenry, part of Northwestern Medicine, something hospital officials say is not likely. It’s unknown if Doherty was one of the two believed to have been exposed at Centegra.
No stranger to Legionella
The first cluster of the year in McHenry County infected 12 people in June and July. Six of the 12 were believed to have been sickened within a 1½-mile radius of the intersection of Route 176 and Walkup Road in Crystal Lake, but the source never was identified.
Three people were affected during the second outbreak in October. The source of that outbreak was believed to be the Johnsburg Walmart Supercenter.
There were four cases of Legionnaires’ disease in McHenry County in 2017, nine in 2016, and three in 2015.
The county is located in northeastern Illinois, along the Wisconsin state line. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 308,760, making it the sixth-most populous county in Illinois.”
Sources: By Dennis Armstrong

Preparing Cooling Towers and Heating Boilers For Winter Operation: Part 1

This is that in-between time of year when facilities managers are preparing both heating boilers and cooling towers for winter operation.  Here are two checklists that will assist in getting these systems ready for cold weather operation and help avoid unexpected equipment failure.

 WINTERIZATION TIPS FOR COOLING TOWERS:

Fall is an excellent time to prepare cooling towers for the rigors of winter operation.  Here is a list of major maintenance items to take care of:

Change the gear box oil.  Fresh oil now should get you through until spring.

  1. Replace the V-belts.  There is no good way to tell when a belt will fail.  If you replace the belts now, you can be reasonably sure you will not face an emergency change-out in mid January.
  2. Clean the hot water distribution system and the cold water collection basins.  Debris has no doubt accumulated during the warm, dry months.  A thorough cleaning eliminates the risk of clogged filters and strainers and the risk of biological growth.
  3. Make sure all distribution nozzles are clean and in place.  Proper water distribution is even more important in winter than in summer.
  4. Inspect the distribution system and cold water collection basin and seal all leaks thoroughly.  These leaks are probably the most common cause of serious ice damage in the winter.
  5. Balance water flow so that all fan cells (on towers serving a common process) receive equal amounts of incoming water.  This balance assures efficient, trouble free service.
  6. Verify that all motor control circuits are properly operating, particularly if you use fan reversal to control ice buildup.
  7. If your system includes a bypass valve to divert water around the cooling tower fill, operate this valve and make sure that it provides complete shutoff.
  8. Repair any worn or damaged access devices, such as doors, ladders or stairways.  Proper winter operation demands free access to the cooling tower.  Access devices should be made safe for operating personnel.

Image result for cooling tower in winter

By – Mark Botsford, CWT

 

 

Legionella Found At All But 3 West Orange Schools

Legionella Found At All But 3 West Orange Schools: Officials

WEST ORANGE, NJ — First they were found at town hall. Then they were found at a half-dozen other municipal buildings. Now, less than six weeks after Legionella bacteria was discovered in the water at Redwood Elementary, West Orange officials have found additional samples of the hazardous pathogen at all but three of the district’s schools.

On Wednesday, West Orange Public School District administrators provided an update on testing that’s been taking place at all 12 schools for Legionella bacteria, the organisms that lead to Legionnaire’s Disease, a severe form of pneumonia commonly found in found in potable and non-potable water systems.

Test results for each individual school can be seen here. Read Superintendent Jeff Rutzky’s letter to parents and guardians here. Updated district statements about the testing can be seen here.

The district initially began testing for the bacteria at Redwood Elementary School last month after a parent whose child was attending summer camp there reported that her child was sick with what the doctor said could be Legionnaire’s Disease. The child was ultimately determined not to have the disease, Rutzky said.

However, officials began remediation efforts at the school after test results showed four of 15 samples had “very low levels of Legionella bacteria” on Aug. 14.

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On Aug. 30, New Jersey American Water tested sinks and water fountains at Redwood Elementary School for coliform bacteria. The results were satisfactory in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act standards, school officials said.

Even though the Redwood Elementary School samples met the standard, OMEGA Environmental was hired to perform a disinfection procedure using a hyper-chlorinated solution on Sept. 10 and 11, officials said.

The procedure included:

  • “chlorine is pumped into the hot water heater and remains in the hot water tank for four hours to eliminate any bacteria”
  • “chlorine is then pumped through the hot water piping system and remains in the system for fourteen hours to eliminate any bacteria”
  • “chlorinated water is drained from the hot water tank and hot water piping system and flushed with fresh water”
  • “water samples are drawn and retested after the hyper-chlorination procedure to verify that the water again meets the Safe Drinking Water Act standards”

Officials also took the following steps at Redwood Elementary:

  • “installing filters on the water sources that tested positive”
  • “replacing faucets in the affected areas”
  • “proactively and temporarily covering all water fountains despite the fact that the Legionella bacteria only presents a risk from exposure to airborne droplets and not from drinking affected water”
  • “removing, cleaning and sanitizing all aerators (screens) in all rooms”
  • “where possible, changes in the plumbing systems will be done to minimize the potential for future bacterial growth”

West Orange school officials then began the process of testing the district’s other facilities for Legionella, including all 12 schools, the Central Office and the Bus Depot.

Samples for Legionella bacteria were positive in the Administration Building and all schools except Liberty Middle School, Betty Maddalena Early Learning Center, and Kelly Elementary School, officials announced Wednesday.

“All affected schools will undergo the same remediation as Redwood Elementary School by Omega Environmental, followed by retesting by Garden State Environmental,” school administrators said. “Water bottles should be available at all schools until testing and remediation is completed.”

To complete the process, the remediation is being carried out on weekends, administrators said.

The remediation schedule follows below:

  • Mt. Pleasant had the chlorination process completed on Sept. 19 and was retested for the Legionella bacteria on Sept. 24.
  • St. Cloud had the chlorination process completed on Sept. 22 and will be retested on Sept. 27.
  • Hazel will have the chlorination process completed on Sept. 28 and 29. Retesting will be done approximately four days after the chlorination process.
  • Gregory, Washington and the Administration Building will have the chlorination process completed on Oct. 5 and 6, Oct. 12 and 13 or Oct. 19 and 20. Retesting will be done approximately four days after the chlorination process.
  • Edison and Roosevelt will have the chlorination process completed on Oct. 26 or 27 or Nov. 2 and 3. Retesting will be done approximately four days after the chlorination process.
  • West Orange High School will be completed on Nov. 8 to 11. Retesting will be done approximately four days after the chlorination process.

“It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases of Legionella in West Orange,” Superintendent Rutzky said Wednesday. “We will continue to be diligent in our approach to remediate the water sources that tested positive for Legionella bacteria and proactive in completing the process as quickly as possible.”

School district administrators have been coordinating their responses with workers at the town Health Department, who have been conducting their own Legionella testing and remediation at several buildings, including Town Hall, Lafayette Park, O’Connor Park, Fire Headquarters, Firehouse No. 2, Firehouse No. 4 and Police Headquarters.

West Orange Director of Health Theresa DeNova previously provided the following information about Legionnaire’s Disease:

“It is not contagious, person to person… it is not airborne… it cannot be contracted by drinking or touching water… and the way it is contracted is by inhaling contaminated water mist.”

New Jersey American Water previously released the following statement about the situation in West Orange:

“Providing safe water is New Jersey American Water’s number one priority and a responsibility we share with all our customers. Although the drinking water we deliver is treated and meets all federal and state water quality standards and requirements, the quality of that water can change once it leaves our pipes and enters domestic plumbing systems. When we became aware of the issues the Township of West Orange experienced with Legionella in the plumbing infrastructure of its Municipal Township Building, we began proactively working with Mayor Parisi, his staff, health officials and town consultants to provide expert guidance and assistance as the town works to remedy this situation. We are committed to helping the Township resolve this issue as they work to disinfect and upgrade their building systems to ensure a healthy and safe work environment for their employees.”

Sources:https://patch.com/new-jersey/westorange/all-3-west-orange-schools-have-legionella-water-officials

Cost Savings with Evaporation Credits

Cost Savings with Evaporation Credits
With a growing desire to conserve energy, water and other resources, a commonly overlooked option for cost savings is Cooling Tower Evaporation Credits. With the growing costs of fresh water supply and sanitary service, taking advantage of evaporation credits can provide a cost savings towards plant operations budget. Evaporation is calculated by recording water make-up to the cooling tower, then subtracting water discharge via blow down. The difference is water lost to Evaporation. This allows for savings on water that would normally be paid for as sanitary waste.

It is suggested that the customer check with local water authorities to ensure that the water meters and method of recording will be acceptable to obtain the evaporation credits.

Example:  A 300-Ton cooling tower running at 4 cycles of concentration uses 1,000,000 gallons of make-up water for a cooling season. The blow down water to sanitary drain at 4 cycles would be 250,000 gallons. This would allow for a savings on sewer charges for 750,000 gallons of water that is evaporated through the cooling process.

For more information about your specific Cooling Tower System and how you can potentially realize Cost Savings thru Evaporation Credits, please get in touch with local Metro Representative.

https://metrogroupinc.com/contact/

Protection Against Legionella: Cooling Tower Requirements 2018

Resources for cooling tower owners, operators, water treatment consultants and inspectors are provided below. Please refer to Title: Subpart 4.1 – Cooling Towers for a full listing of regulatory requirements.

Cooling Tower Registry

Notification of Exceedance

Cooling tower owners must notify the local health department within 24 hours of receipt of a Legionella culture sample result that exceeds 1,000 colony forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL). Owners must also notify the public of test results in the manner determined by the local health department or the New York State Department of Health (Subpart 4-1.6 and Appendix 4-A).

Maintenance Program and Plan

Prior to the initial start-up of a newly installed cooling tower, the owner must obtain a Maintenance Program and Plan for each cooling tower. Each active cooling tower must have an updated Maintenance Program and Plan. (Subpart 4-1.4). This plan must be developed in accordance with ASHRAE Standard 188-2015 Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems p. 7-8 (Available for viewing at Read-Only Versions of ASHRAE Standards under Current Popular Standards). You may use this template for the maintenance program and plan.

Legionella Culture Analysis

All Legionella culture analyses must be performed by a laboratory certified by the New York State Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) (Subpart 4-1.5). Please contact ELAP@health.ny.gov or call (518) 485-5570 to find a certified laboratory.

Disinfection

Any person who disinfects a cooling tower must be a certified commercial pesticide applicator or pesticide technician who is qualified to apply biocide in a cooling tower. Only biocide products registered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for use in cooling towers or pesticidal devices produced in a USEPA registered establishment may be used in disinfection (Subpart 4-1.7 and Appendix 4-A).

Variances and Waivers

An owner may submit a written application to a local health department for a variance for a period not exceeding 90 days from any provision. It must include an explanation of why the variance will not present a danger to public health (Subpart 4-1.11(a)).

The New York State Department of Health may issue a waiver for any provision of the regulation if staff are satisfied that the waiver would not present a danger to public health. Waivers may also be revoked upon determination that the waiver may present a danger to public health (Subpart 4-1.11(b)). To apply for a waiver, please email cooling.tower@health.ny.gov.

Inspections and Certification

All cooling towers must be inspected prior to seasonal start-up and every 90 days while in use. Cooling towers also need to be inspected following maintenance (Subpart 4-1.8(a)).

All cooling towers must obtain a certification by November 1 of each year.  The certification should attest that the cooling tower has a maintenance program and plan, and that all activities within that plan or required by the regulation were implemented (Subpart 4-1.8b). You may use this template for the annual certification documentation.

More Information

Questions or comments: cooling.tower@health.ny.gov

Sources: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/legionella/cooling_towers.htm

Top 5 NYC “End of Cooling Season” Tower Considerations

 1 – Cooling Tower Cleaning

First and foremost, for a seasonal tower, ensure you have completed both Cooling Tower Cleanings/Disinfections required by the Department of Health’s (DOH) calendar year (November 1st through October 31st).  One should have been completed at start-up, and the 2nd can be completed anytime before shutdown.  You do NOT need to wait until shutdown to complete the 2nd cleaning.

2 – Routine Maintenance

Ensure Routine Maintenance records have been completed twice during the current DOH calendar year.  Routine Maintenance must follow your MPP, which should be based on your towers manufacturer recommendations and should include items like:

Adequate System Start- up                                                         Adequate System Shut-down

Inspect Integrity of Tower Structure                                       Inspect Fill Material& Drift Eliminators

Inspect Distribution & Operating Level                                   Inspect Fan, Fan Belts & Drives

Clean Spray Heads/Distribution Nozzles                                Inspect Electrical Wiring & Components

Remove/Clean Tower & Circ. Pump Strainers                      Grease/Lube Bearings as required

Inspect Tower for Operational Abnormalities

3 – Annual Certification

All towers MUST file an Annual Certification with the Department of Buildings (DOB) each year by November 1st.  Failure to do so will automatically result in a $2,500 fine from the DOB.  This certification must be uploaded to the DOB/DOH CT portal.

4 – Cooling Tower Compliance Binder

The end of the cooling season is also a good time to review your Cooling Tower Compliance Binder.  Building staff should ensure that each of the following required sections are populated correctly:

  • MPP – is your current year MPP in your binder?
  • Cooling Tower Cleanings – do you have 2 certificates of cleaning/disinfection in your binder?
  • Legionella Samples – do you have a sample result from start-up, and every 90 days thereafter?
  • Dip Slide Results – do you have bacteria dip slide results from each week during the season?
  • C&B Records – do you have a weekly summary of all chemicals added to your tower?
  • Water Quality Testing – do you have records of pH, Temperature, Conductivity and Biocide residual numbers three times each week and once a week visual inspection?
  • Routine Maintenance – do you have 2 certificates of the required routine maintenance on the tower?
  • Annual Certification – is your Annual Certification in your binder?

5 – Winterize Feed Equipment

Finally, as water treatment experts, we know that at tower shutdown, many Mechanical companies neglect to properly winterize the chemical feed equipment associated with their tower.  It is imperative to ensure all water is drained out of all tower associated piping to avoid freezing.  Outdoor chemical feed stations should be moved in-door if possible.  Pumps should be properly shut down and controllers should be unplugged for the winter.  Feed packages with sensitive probes for pH, temperature and conductivity need to be remove and winterized as well. This is very important to avoid broken equipment the following spring.

The Metro Group handles all of the above for our customers.  If you have questions about any of the services above, or need to add additional services to your current contact, please contact us at 718-729-7200 or sales@metrogroupinc.com

 

Microbiological Control in Cooling Towers

From the water treatment industry’s perspective, the practice of controlling the proliferation of microbial fouling in HVAC/Industrial cooling water systems has traditionally been focused on keeping algae, slime and fungus in check.  Without proper control, organisms will colonize, grow, and turn into biomass and biofilm.  Displaced biomass can lead to restrictions in flow, loss of heat transfer and other serious water-borne problems.  In addition, a longer-term challenge is that accumulated bacterial slimes (biofilm) will lead to microbiologically influenced corrosion, metal loss and system failure.  Also, due to recent regulatory developments, the industry now has another objective to contend with.  This is to reduce the potential formation of disease-bearing organisms such as Legionella Pneumophila.  So, effective microbial control is at the center of overall cooling system performance as well the health of building occupants.

Cooling tower owners have numerous tools at their disposal.  These tools include application of chemical biocides, cooling tower chemical disinfections, and the selective use of mechanical support methods.  Among the mechanical support methods owners can rely upon we find deck covers (to shield sunlight), recirculating water filters (sand or media) to remove suspended solids continuously, basin cleaning filters to keep pans deposit free, and even air-intake screens to prevent additional dirt loading.  Cooling water biocides are applied routinely and typically involve the use of two different product categories – oxidizing and non-oxidizing micro-biocides.  These materials are designed to destroy existing organisms and also prevent new ones from growing.  The strategy of using two separate chemical micro-biocides is to ensure that cellular destruction is complete, and that strains do not develop immunity to resist treatments.

Owners working with industry professionals have numerous monitoring tools at their disposal.  Cooling tower inspections should be coupled with the use of microbiological testing. Micro testing is part of effective Water Management Plan development and includes testing for halogen reserves, bacteria and cellular activity, as well as specific testing for Legionella.  Best practice might also incorporate the use of bio-film detection strategies.  In conclusion, microbiological control of Industrial and HVAC cooling waters requires careful planning and resource allocation.  An appropriate selection of the tools now available to building owners can be selected and implemented to prevent problems, preserve capital equipment, and ensure the health of building occupants.

By:

John D. Caloritis, CWT

Technology Director

The Metro Group, Inc

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