Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Controlling scale as a means to prevent Legionella

September 25, 2012

The Legionella bacterium Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila), the fundamental agent of Legionnaires’ disease, is a water-based organism that causes infection when inhaled in an aerosol form.

faucetLegionnaires’ disease acquired its name in 1976 when an outbreak of pneumonia occurred among persons attending a convention of the American Legion in Philadelphia.

Later, the bacterium causing the illness was named Legionella.

Normally associated with cooling towers and evaporative condensers, mist machines, humidifiers, whirlpool spas and showers, the L. pneumophila bacteria is most commonly associated with the disease outbreak legionellosis.

Legionella bacteria thrive in stagnant water — things such as water tanks, reservoirs, piping systems, sink basins, etc.

The bacteria require temperatures between 68 degrees Fahrenheit (F) and 113 degrees F — under 68 degrees Fahrenheit or over 140 degrees Fahrenheit and they are killed — and a supply of nutrients found in algae, rust, sludge and scale.

To continue reading up on ways to prevent the dangerous and deadly Legionella bacteria, click here.