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As part of a comprehensive water management program, facility managers must regularly monitor for conditions that can produce legionella bacteria. This bacteria thrives in stagnant water and warm temperatures and may cause a severe form of pneumonia when inhaled or ingested. It’s vital that facilities monitor water flow and quality to minimize hazardous conditions that can lead to legionella growth and put tenants at risk of serious infection.
Legionella is a bacteria that can cause legionellosis (Legionnaires’ disease), a severe form of pneumonia, when inhaled or ingested. According to the Mayo Clinic, Legionnaires’ disease causes inflammation of the lungs. It can also cause infections in wounds and other parts of the body, including the heart, which may be fatal.
Compromised Water Quality & Health Hazard: Building water systems continue to be the leading source of legionella bacteria, due to water stagnation and warm temperatures. Because legionella can grow and multiply quickly in potable water systems and survive chlorine treatment in utility water treatment plants, it’s crucial that facilities managers invest in consistent testing and treatment solutions.
Legal Responsibility: In most states, building owners and facilities managers have a legal obligation to assess and control the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria. They must ensure their water system is monitored and tested accordingly to prevent legionella outbreaks.
Facilities managers are encouraged to create a water management program to monitor water flow and quality routinely. The program is designed to help minimize hazardous conditions that can lead to legionella growth, especially stagnant water. Because disinfectants can dissipate quickly from stagnant water, the opportunity for biofilm bacteria and potential pathogen growth, like legionella, increases substantially. This toolkit from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides more information on developing a water management program to reduce legionella growth and spread.
Clamp-on meters are a suitable choice for flow measurement throughout your system because service is never interrupted, making them especially ideal for retrofit applications. Meters simply clamp on to the exterior of a pipe and do not require a plumber for installation. A single person can easily install clamp-on meters, including the Dynasonics® TFX-5000 Ultrasonic clamp-on flow meter and the Dynasonics® TFX-500w Ultrasonic clamp-on flow meter.
In-line meters are another great option for flow measurement. They require cutting the pipe for installation and provide reliable performance in facility water management systems, measuring low flow rates and improving accuracy. In-line meters are the go-to choice for new installations, during scheduled maintenance activities and in situations where pipes are oversized. The ModMAG® M2000 Electromagnetic flow meter, Dynasonics® U500w Ultrasonic flow meter, Recordall® Industrial Disc Series flow meters and Recordall® Industrial Turbo Series flow meters are all suitable options in monitoring flow within your facility.
In addition to connecting flow meters to your facility water management system, you can also connect meters to AquaCUE® Flow Measurement Manager. Using cellular network infrastructure, this cloud-based analytics system delivers a powerful dashboard solution to provide facilities with increased visibility and help better manage their water use.
s::can solves water quality challenges for hospitals, senior living facilities, offices and water treatment facilities. Their solutions provide real-time intelligent data creating safe water within your facility, measuring a wide variety of parameters from chlorine to total organic carbon (TOC).