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Legionella Bacteria Flourishing in Closed Buildings

CDC finds bacteria in water systems of several facilities

August 11, 2020

Legionella bacteria found in several buildings in Atlanta is a reminder that facility managers need to monitor properties that have been closed for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has closed several buildings it leases in Atlanta after Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ Disease, was found in the facilities’ water systems, CNN reports. The bacteria, which can cause deadly pneumonia, grows in warm or stagnant water. Plumbing in facilities that have been closed for months can provide a perfect breeding ground for Legionella and other waterborne pathogens.

Legionella flourishes at temperatures between 80 and 120 Fahrenheit. It can be eliminated by chlorination and other disinfecting routines, but the bacteria can create hard-to-dislodge sludge inside pipes. The CDC recommends that building managers flush the water systems of closed properties before reopening them.

As poorly maintained cooling towers are another potential source of Legionella, managers need to routinely inspect cooling towers and perform regular maintenance.

Learn how fault detection software can help eliminate Legionella bacteria in your facility.

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