Under Deposit Corrosion in Cooling Water

Under deposit corrosion in cooling systems have been one of the most prevalent problems in our industry.  It is also one of the least understood problems with field level engineers and clients alike.

Deposits occur in cooling systems due to colloidal sediment, environmental debris, scale, old corrosion deposits re-depositing on metal surfaces and of course biofilm.

When deposits form on metal surfaces, the corrosion inhibitors added to systems simply cannot do their job, since they cannot get to the metal surfaces they are supposed to protect.  Further, a dissimilar surface is set up on the metal providing the makings of a corrosion cell.

Scale formations provide a dissimilar surface and allow for the anode/cathode corrosion cell to start.  Further, scale insulated the metal surface from the corrosion inhibitors from protecting metal surfaces, most likely on the cathode surface.

Environmental debris such as garden variety dirt and organic material also presents a dissimilar metal surface allowing a corrosion cell to start, same as scale formations.  Environmental debris also provides a great start to both scale and biofilm formation.  Cooling system components most in danger from environmental debris are chillers with enhanced tubes.  Enhanced tubes are already prone to corrosion due to their rifled nature.  Cooling tower systems with enhanced tubes should all be filtered through a sand or multimedia filter to protect the rifling of these tubes.

Biofilm:  Causes the same dissimilar metal surfaces as noted above.  An added feature of microbiological corrosion is the acidic nature of the biofilm wastes.  pH’s of the underside of a biofilm has been measured as low as 2!

How to prevent under deposit corrosion?

 Make sure flow rates in all areas of your system are high enough to prevent sediment from settling on piping.

  1. Avoid intermittent flow conditions.
  2. Clean up all existing deposits.
    1. Descale fouled systems
    2. Remove old biofilm
    3. Physical remove old corrosion products where possible
  3. Consider an appropriate filter for your system.
  4. Keep your biocide program up and consider a bio dispersant, especially in chiller systems with enhanced tubes.

These deposits can be virtually eliminated from most systems.  Be sure to evaluate your systems to determine appropriate cures.

Keith Morgan/ CWT/ Upstate division

Legionella exposure sickens 2, causes closure of Waco YMCA

<i>Legionella</i> exposure sickens 2, causes closure of Waco YMCA

Health authorities in Waco, Texas, are investigating two cases of Legionnaires’ disease believed to be connected to the Waco Family YMCA.

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia or lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria, which are contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets in the form of mist or vapor.

“Exposure to the Legionella bacteria may have occurred at the Waco Family YMCA,” Rodney Martin, president and CEO of the YMCA of Central Texas, was quoted in a notice to visitors.

While the facility remains open to members and guests – after consultation with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District (WMCPHD) – officials closed the whirlpool area, which is adjacent to an indoor pool.

“The Waco Family YMCA will remain open to members, guests and program participants as all other areas of the Y are accessible, including the pool, gym, fitness, group exercise spaces and more,” the organization said. “The restricted area will not affect the operations of the Y or its ability to serve its guests.”

The source of the bacteria has not been identified.

“We have been in contact with both the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District as well as the Center for Disease Control and are following their recommendations,” Martin wrote in an e-mail. “We have also contacted an outside expert to complete testing of the Y’s water.”

Health officials work backward
Kelly Craine, public information officer for the WMCPHD, said once the department was notified of the cases, its staff began “working backward” to discover a common denominator between the patients and pinpoint a possible source of their infection.

“The hot tub has been closed, and it is the only area that’s been closed,” she said. “Because of the mist, you always want to look at the hot tub as a possible suspect.”

YMCA visitors may need to take action
Health district officials said they believe the two patients contracted the Legionella between Feb. 4 and Feb. 21.

If you are a member, visitor or employee of the YMCA, located at 6800 Harvey Road, and you used the whirlpool, swam in the pool or traveled through the whirlpool or pool area this month and are feeling pneumonia- or flu-like symptoms, you should seek care from your health-care provider, according to Craine.


Conservation through Service

By John Caloritis

As part of its continuing dedication to environmental protection and awareness, The Metro Group, Inc. has launched its 2019 campaign of “Conservation through Service”.  This theme is being put into action through a variety of channels: our services have been revamped to conserve water and energy, decrease fuel emissions, and prolong the life of existing infrastructure avoiding costly repair and unnecessary waste of raw materials.

The Metro Group began its storied history as a chemical company.  Since 1925, it has grown away from its chemicals origin and stretched into a service organization, utilizing chemicals as one of many effective tools to provide customers with efficient and effective water treatment.

This theme for 2019 and beyond will be evident in company practice, policy, and spirit.  Some of our expanded programs will include: increased use of solids chemistry, comprehensive recycling practices at all of our facilities to include office waste and drum reclamation, paper reduction initiatives, and training programs in green practices for all employees and our customers as requested.

The Metro motto “The Water Treatment Company Protecting Business Partners Since 1925” is embodied by all who work for us. We are always looking for ways to improve our “green” practices and will continue to do so in the future.  We look forward to working with you as we implement our improved programs and help preserve our environment!

Four Legionnaires’ disease cases linked to Crookston hotel


CROOKSTON, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating four cases of Legionnaires’ disease linked to a hotel in northwestern Minnesota.

Four people reported getting sick between Jan. 22 and Jan. 27 after staying at the Crookston Inn and Convention Center. None of them stayed in the hotel overnight and visited the hotel for different occasions, the Department of Health said in a news release.

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria usually spread to humans by inhalation of contaminated water mist — often from sources like plumbing systems, air duct moisture and hot tubs. It is not spread from one person to another under normal circumstances.

State health officials are working with the hotel to find out what may have caused the outbreak. Based on existing evidence and past outbreaks, the Department of Health currently believes the outbreak may have originated in the hotel’s spa, which is currently closed pending lab test results.

The hotel is notifying people who stayed there between Jan. 14 and Feb. 13 that they may have been exposed.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include fever, muscle aches, shortness of breath and loss of appetite.

Legionella bacteria found at University Hospital of Brooklyn


A bacteria known to cause Legionnaires’ disease was found at the University Hospital of Brooklyn, according to multiple tests.

The Prospect Lefferts Garden hospital, which is part of the SUNY Downstate campus, says that testing revealed a high percentage of legionella pneumophila in the building’s water.

The hospital announced that staff and patients will only use bottled water for drinking and brushing their teeth.

They added in a statement, “While we understand that these actions may cause concern, we want to assure the UHB community that we are taking all appropriate actions to address the matter. It’s important to stress that Legionnaires’ disease is not spread from person-to-person.”

SUNY Downstate also released a statement on Friday announcing water restrictions for patients and staff.

People who are 50 and older, smokers, those with chronic lung diseases or weakened immune systems are most at risk of getting Legionnaires’ disease.

The hospital says it is open and safe for patients, staff and visitors.

Source: News 12

Alexandria’s Alomere Health investigating outbreak

By News Services on February 2nd, 2019

Alomere Health is a general medical and surgical hospital in Alexandria, MN.

to file a lawsuit. Call (612) 337-6126 for a free consultation.

Two cases of Legionnaires’ disease since November have prompted officials at Alomere Health hospital in Alexandria, Minnesota, to work with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to try and identify possible sources of Legionellabacteria.

The first patient was sickened at Alomere Health, located at 111 17th Avenue East, in late November; that patient recovered. The most recent patient infected with the sometimes-deadly respiratory illness developed Legionnaires’ disease symptoms in late January and remains hospitalized.

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe type of pneumonia or lung infection contracted by inhaling microscopic water droplets in the form of mist or vapor containing Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 25,000 cases of pneumonia due to Legionella occur in the United States yearly. However, only 5,000 cases are reported because of the disease’s nonspecific signs and symptoms.

According to the MDH, Minnesota had more than 150 cases reported around the state in 2018.

Consultant hired
Alomere Health has contracted an independent environmental consultant to “conduct a complete assessment and testing of the facility’s water system and address potential sources for the bacteria,” according to an MDH news release.

Additionally, the hospital has implemented the following recommendations from the MDH in an attempt to minimize the risk of exposure to patients and employees:

  • Restricted the use of showers; patients can use bathtubs without using water jets.
  • Restricted the use of hand sprayers.
  • Bottled water must be used by patients on medical/surgical and ICU units for drinking, brushing teeth, and other oral care.

The MDH stated that the “recommendations only apply to patients and employees at Alomere Health. Alexandria’s municipal water supply meets water-quality standards.”

Hospital staff also has begun notifying patients and families about the outbreak, as well as informing them of the steps being taken by the hospital.

The MDH is contacting area health-care providers to be on alert for additional patients with possible Legionnaires symptoms.

Watch for symptoms
If you are a patient, employee or visitor to Alomere Health and you are experiencing pneumonia- or flu-like symptoms, you should seek care from your health-care provider out of an abundance of caution. Those symptoms include:

If you have any questions, concerns or are experiencing any of the above symptoms, contact Alomere Health at 320-762-6019 and ask for Bonnie Freudenberg, the hospital’s director of quality, or Margaret Kalina, VP of patient-care services. In addition, you can call the MDH at 651-201-5414.

More on Legionnaires’ disease

A 2015 study by the CDC stated that “75 percent of (Legionnaires’ disease) acquired in health-care settings could be prevented with better water management.”

Most people exposed to Legionella do not get sick, but people 50 years old and older – especially those who smoke or have chronic lung conditions – are at a higher risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease.

Other people more susceptible to infection include:

  • recipients of organ transplants
  • individuals who are on specific drug protocols (corticosteroids, to name one)
  • heavy drinkers of alcoholic beverages.

This list also includes anyone with an immune system weakened by:

  • frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis, or skin infections
  • organ inflammation and infection
  • blood disorders, such as low platelet counts or anemia
  • digestive problems, such as cramping, appetite loss, diarrhea, and nausea
  • delayed growth and development.

After Legionnaires’ disease has been diagnosed, hospitalization is often necessary. In the most severe cases, complications can occur; they include:

  • respiratory failure: caused by changes to the lung tissue, or oxygen loss in arteries supplying the lungs.
  • septic shock: This can occur when Legionella produce toxins that enter the bloodstream and cause a drop in blood pressure, leading to the loss of adequate blood supply to the organs.
  • kidney failure: those same Legionella toxins can damage the kidneys’ ability to eliminate waste from the blood, resulting in kidney failure.
  • endocarditis: an infection of the inner lining of the heart that can affect the strength of the organ to maintain adequate blood flow through the body.
  • pericarditis: swelling of the pericardium, which is the primary membrane around the heart. This can also affect the ability of the heart to circulate blood throughout the body.

Erosion Corrosion

There are multiple factors which can contribute to corrosion within a closed loop system. For this blog we will concentrate on erosion corrosion. This is caused by particulate in the system sand blasting the piping, causing leaks typically in elbows and threaded sections of the piping. This can also be damaging to small areas of newer high efficiency boilers. There are many factors that can lead to this particulate, including improper cleaning of a hydronic system after installation, improper chemistry used in the system, or a complete lack of chemistry. Routine checks of system iron and copper (both dissolved and total) should be performed to monitor against this. The American Boiler Manufacturer Association sets limits of less than one ppm of iron and less than 1/2 ppm of copper. If a higher level of these metals is found within the system from routine testing, your water treatment partner may recommend flushing the system to remove the debris or installing a filter to clean up the undissolved iron/copper and protect the rest of the system.

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