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  • Kevin Brauer

Legionella Management: Achieving Non-Detect with Flow-Tech

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

Instill confidence in your legionella management plan by implementing a preventative maintenance program.

What even is Legionella, and why do we care?

Legionella represents a major ongoing concern and challenge for facilities, particularly those throughout. The bacteria, found in both potable and non-potable water systems, causes Legionnaire's disease—a severe, often lethal, form of pneumonia. To maintain clean, safe water, hospitals, clinics and nursing homes alike must implement a thorough legionella management plan.

Temporary reductions won't prevent future outbreaks.

Traditional legionella management practices consist of heating the water in a system or lengthy flushes. While these practices can reduce temporary legionella counts, the threat of legionella continuing to grow and spread still exists. To create an effective and lasting management program, the problem needs to be attacked at the source – biofilm.

Biofilm is where legionella is harbored. With a hospitable environment and food source, this is where legionella can reproduce and infect a water system. Only when biofilm is effectively removed and prevented is when the threat of legionella can be diminished.

Success Story: Utah Critical Care Hospital

In 2017, a critical care hospital in Utah documented legionella counts over 6,000 CFU/mL within its domestic water system. The hospital implemented their legionella management plan, which included heating the water above 140°F for more than 30 minutes and lengthy system flushes. While the legionella counts temporarily dropped to 200 CFU/mL, they returned to previous populations between treatments due to the continued presence of biofilm within the pipes.

Working with the Utah Department of Health to perform the necessary tests, the hospital installed Flow-Tech's technology and discontinued their previous legionella management plan. In less than two months, Flow-Tech removed the existing biofilm and reduced legionella counts to below the 10 CFU/mL "detectable" threshold. Flow-Tech reduced legionella counts by more than 98.5% compared to the hospital's hot water treatment.

Biofilm control: trust the technology that does the job.

Flow-Tech is the only chemical-free water treatment system to meet and pass the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) protocol for controlling sessile bacteria, or biofilm. Flow-Tech achieved a 98% inhibition of sessile bacteria, while no other technology or system successfully passed the protocol. To see the full study, click here.


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