When considering your options for Legionella water treatment, there are several factors to consider. Unless you are in remediation mode, chances are you should install a long term “preventative” type secondary water treatment technology solution. A Legionella water treatment technology that will “prevent” potentially dangerous Legionella exposure to facility occupants. Additionally, as part of ASHARE 188, most facilities with a higher relative risk of Legionella growth will be advised to implement a preventative type of secondary water treatment technology. The same applies to the summer 2017 Legionella directive issued by the CMS in the USA.
Given the nature of facility occupants or the age of the facility, higher-risk facilities typically include hospitals, nursing homes, and hotels.
Yet what if you want to deal with existing Legionella issues in your facility potable water distribution network and require a short-term solution? What should you do to fix this quickly in anticipation of a long-term solution?
Our copper-silver ionization technology uses the latest in engineering to eliminate Legionella at the source. Legionnaires’ Disease can be deadly, so it’s crucial to have your water system treated. Our dedicated team, with over 20 years of experience, can assist with every step of the project, from planning to execution. Here are some of the legionella water treatment methods, along with their advantages and limitations.
Short-Term Water Treatment
A short-term Legionella remediation technique is implemented to eliminate Legionella from the facility’s potable water distribution network. There are two commonly known techniques to accomplish this:
- Thermal Eradication
- Hyper Chlorination
Thermal Eradication and Hyper-Chlorination are short-term Legionella growth remediation methods. They provide a three to six-week window before one will start to see Legionella CFU counts rise again unless a long-term solution is implemented.
The realities associated with these two methods include the risk of severe scalding, strong chlorine smell, pipe corrosion, physical damage to the plumbing. Distal outlets require water flushing, and facility occupants run the dangers of chemical exposure or scalding.
Short-term secondary potable water treatment remediation normally protects facility occupants from public health Legionella exposure for a few weeks. This time of period, usually ranging from 3 to 6 weeks, offers facility management personnel the opportunity to implement a long-term Legionella growth prevention strategy such as CSIDefender(R) copper-silver ionization.
Long-Term Water Treatment
Installing a long-term method of water treatment is the ideal way to prevent Legionella growth within a facility’s potable water distribution network.
Long-term Legionella growth prevention water treatment solutions include:
- Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2)
- Chloramines (NH2Cl)
- Copper Silver Ionization – CSI (Cu2+Ag+)
Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is considered to be less corrosive compared to regular chlorine and has also shown deliver better performance than either Chlorine or Thermal eradication. Chlorine dioxide will eventually penetrate biofilm yet can take up to 17 months to accomplish measurable results for Legionella growth control. Another drawback of Chlorine dioxide is that it must be generated on-site. It also requires a relatively larger technology footprint compared to other technologies such as copper-silver ionization. In many locations, Chlorine dioxide may require that on-site personnel be certified to operate the technology.
For Chloramines (NH2Cl), healthcare facilities should be aware that Chloramines affect dialysis equipment and can cause anemia in patient care. It is generated on-site by combining chlorine and ammonia, which is a chemical more stable in water compared to Chlorine or Chlorine dioxide. Yet, because of this, it’s much less effective at controlling Legionella. Chloramines are 200 times less effective than chlorine in killing e-Coli bacteria.
Copper Silver Ionization (CSI) is arguably the most reliable Legionella growth control technology for potable water distribution networks. The technology is simple to install in new or existing facilities. CSI technology does require monthly cleaning maintenance of the ionization chamber cells, and like other technologies, the consumables deplete and are replaced when needed. There are only a few copper-silver ionization manufacturers who can provide commercial size units for facility potable water treatment. CSI technology is recognized by the CDC, EPA, and WHO. No harmful by-products, and it’s discreet to use and implement.