On February 13th, two cases of Legionnaires’ disease were confirmed at an Illinois Veterans Home. It’s been making headlines.
We don’t want to see another Legionella outbreak in the news. That’s why we’ve put together some of the most common questions we get regarding water treatment. Hopefully this helps you in your water treatment needs.
Q: Do I really need water treatment in my system?
A: . You can’t afford not to. The latest from XL Catlin – A global property and casualty insurance group has stated that a Legionella outbreak in your system can cost between $500,000 – $1,000,000 within 30 days of the initial response. Being proactive with water treatment is much cheaper than managing an outbreak.
Q: Is my Cooling Tower the cause of a Legionella outbreak?
A: No. cooling towers do not create legionella. But, it can live in a cooling tower. If you test positive for bacteria in your tower, it is almost guaranteed you have bacteria other places. Biofilm in your entire network is the problem.
Q: Will any water treatment solution 100% remove bacteria?
A: No. There is no water treatment solution that will 100% remove all bacteria. The best any solution can do is greatly reduce your bacteria count. Any solution requiring water flow had difficulty penetrating dead legs in a piping network, leaving bacteria to thrive even after the system has been treated. Furthermore, new species of bacteria are being found resistant to some chemical treatment methods.
Q: Is non-chemical water treatment as effective as chemical water treatment?
A: Yes, there are many non-chemical or non-toxic chemical water treatment solutions. Each with their own benefits. Dolphin Water Care was one of the early technologies claiming to reduce bacteria and scale. It was a good concept but the system had many flaws that resulted in its demise. In the last 15 years, non-toxic chemical treatment has made huge strides and is now trusted by many Fortune 500 companies to treat their system water.
Q: How does non-chemical water treatment work?
A: There are 2 main technologies in this category.
1. Pulse signal technology – These systems generate a low-frequency signal that is pulsed several thousand times per second in your system. Some require a section of pipe be cut out to place the application unit in-line. Another system straps to the outside of your pipe or pump and propagates an electrical signal through your entire system, regardless of flow.
2. Copper/Silver Ionization – Originally developed by NASA, the solution emits positively charged copper and silver ions into the water. The ions bond electrostatically with negative sites on bacterial cell walls and denature proteins. Over the long term, the presence of copper and silver ions destroy biofilms and slimes that can house Legionella. It can take 30 to 45 days for the copper and silver ions to fully penetrate and remove biofilm. EFT is the only Copper/Silver Ionization technology approved by the EPA to treat biofilm to our knowledge.
Q: Is water treatment alone enough to keep my system loop clean?
A: No. In the traditional sense “water treatment” is the act of placing an additive into the system loop to reduce biofilm, scale, and corrosion. In addition to water treatment, you need dirt screens for your cooling tower to keep debris out, dirt and air separation in your piping network and potentially a sand filter to remove small particulates.
Here is an example of what a fully-baked system might look like.
Are you 100% satisfied with where your process or domestic water is right now?
If not, let’s take a no-nonsense look at some solutions that will greatly reduce your bacteria, scale, and corrosion.
The video below explains what our water treatment group, WET does for businesses like yours.