COVID-19 and Legionella Dangers in Commercial Facilities
With the emergence of COVID-19 a few months ago, commercial facilities globally have had to stop operations and close their doors to prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus.
Since then, most of these facilities have been closed with relatively stagnant internal potable water distribution networks compared to being fully operational.
Industry experts are now raising concerns about Legionella bacteria presence within these temporarily closed facilities as a result of partial or full water stagnation over extended periods. Water stagnation results in water temperatures to warm up, breakdown existing disinfectants such as chlorine, and reduce their effectiveness.
These facilities are not designed to be shut down for months at a time. Although necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the consequences of these actions seem to have potentially created a new public health risk that consultants, facility managers, and owners need to address.
Studies are currently underway related to the direct implications of these temporarily closed “COVID-19” facilities and Legionella growth. These studies will attempt to determine just how severe public safety might be affected before transitioning back into operational mode.
In the meanwhile, facility owners are encouraged by industry experts to proceed with regular water flushing and also potentially implement secondary water treatment technology such as commercial-grade CSIDefender® copper-silver ionization. Secondary water treatment is known to stop or prevent Legionella growth within large facility potable water distribution networks.
Facility engineers, managers, and owners should contact CSIDefender® for guidance on how to proceed with a reliable secondary potable water treatment solution. In turn, implementing a CSI technology will lower the exposure risks associated with Legionella bacteria before opening their doors for business.
- Legionella (NCCEH 2020) – This topic page provides resources for those responsible for managing water systems in buildings to understand the risks associated with exposure to Legionella bacteria and key approaches to manage Legionella risks in buildings.
- CDC – Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation – 8 steps to minimize Legionella risk before your business or building reopens