New York’s Legionnaires’ Outbreak Masks a Bigger Threat…
New York City (NYC) Legionnaires’ Outbreak chooses Terra Marra Technology:
Copper-Silver Ionization & POU Filtration to kill the deadly bacteria.
In New York’s Legionnaires’ outbreak, More Cases of Legionnaires’ Disease Arise from Drinking Water, but Few Building Owners Adopt Proven Technology to Prevent Bacterial Growth.
The reports are alarming: More than 120 people in New York’s Legionnaires’ outbreak contracted Legionnaires’ disease and 12 others have died. New York’s Legionnaires’ Outbreak had fourteen cooling towers in the city tested positive for Legionella, the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires’.
The response has been encouraging: Widespread testing of cooling towers and disinfection processes is under way, using the proven Terra Marra technology of copper-silver ionization and point-of-use (POU) Legionella filters at shower-heads and faucets. The New York City Council rushed to adopt legislation that requires adherence to part of the new Legionella standard published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
But there’s another problem: Although New York’s Legionnaires’ outbreak, occurring in the largest and most media-saturated city in our nation, sheds much-needed light on a large and under appreciated problem, it has obscured an even bigger threat to the public. Although cooling towers have often been a source of large outbreaks, many more cases of Legionnaires’ arise from drinking water systems in buildings – including showers, fountains and hot tubs. The country began regular testing of all water systems, and after a decade, found that cooling towers account for only one out of every five Legionnaires’ cases. Terra Marra has worked for decades in the New York metro area to prevent Legionella and remediate problematic water systems using their innovative copper-silver ionization technology. Leaders in healthcare, leisure & hospitality, and commercial development, such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai Hospital, Lennox Hill Hospital, New York University, Rockefeller Center and Tishman Speyer have adopted Terra Marra disinfection technologies to be proactive on infection prevention and to ensure the safest possible environment of care for their patients, guests and staff.
The New York’s Legionnaires’ outbreak also highlights the need for regular testing, continuous online monitoring & control of both drinking water systems and cooling towers. In both cases, Legionnaires’ disease is contracted after the organism aerosolizes in water and people inhale the droplets containing Legionella. Though a few jurisdictions mandate some testing, most do not. In fact, though the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that keeping Legionella bacteria out of water is the key to preventing infection, it doesn’t require routine testing. To establish that you have no Legionella in either your drinking water or cooling towers, you need to perform regular and routine monitoring and testing to negate any negligence from your facility or asset.
The biggest problem areas are hospitals and spas. Here in the United States, a study in the Pittsburgh area found that 71 percent of hospitals that tested for Legionella bacteria in their water supply found it. The study’s co-author said, “If you don’t look for it, you won’t find it.” You can get Legionnaires’ Disease by taking a shower with contaminated water and breathing in the aerosol/steam.
With proper and regular testing and continuous online monitoring & control, a well-maintained system, Legionella in a facility’s water system can typically be driven to near zero for a cost of less than $100 per day. As the New York’s Legionnaires’ outbreak has shown, preventing an outbreak is far less expensive than incurring the human suffering, litigation and damage to reputation that an outbreak can cause.
Take our FREE online, secure Facility Questionnaire, as an initial Step in developing your Water Management Plan (WMP) that follows the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015 Legionellosis Water Safety Plan under forthcoming State regulations.