Waterborne Disease Outbreaks

Waterborne Disease Outbreaks

A recently released CDC study (Surveillance of Waterborne Disease Outbreaks Associated with Drinking Water — United States, 2015–2020) found that out of 214 outbreaks associated with drinking water over the study period, 87% were associated with biofilms. Although 214 outbreaks over 5 years may appear to be a small number, it is important to consider the impact. 

How Does Legionella Get Into My Building?

  • 7 avril 2020
  • Author: Dominick Tuzzo
  • Number of views: 4803
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How Does Legionella Get Into My Building?

Whether your building is newly constructed or even 100+ years old, chances are, sooner or later, it can become colonized with opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens (OPPP’s) such as Legionella. 

As facultative intracellular pathogens, meaning they are capable of living either inside or outside of other host cells, Legionella enters your building water system(s) as an endosymbiont of another organism.  Translated:  they hitch a ride into your building inside of amoeboid cells which, incidentally, function as their natural host organisms in the aquatic environment.

Where Should I Sample for Legionella?

Where Should I Sample for Legionella?

Should your Water Management Plan (WMP) Program Team decide to utilize environmental water sampling to validate the effectiveness of the WMP, ANSI/ASHRAE 188-2018 advises that these tests should be performed by a laboratory accredited to a nationally or internationally recognized standard (e.g., ISO/IEC 17025:2017), with Legionellaa included in the laboratory’s scope of accreditation.

Before environmental sampling is undertaken, a Sampling Plan should be formulated.  This plan should list the devices and Points of Use (POUs) to be sampled, at what frequency sampling will be performed, what the acceptable control limits will be, and what the response protocol will be for any sample result(s) falling outside of the previously-established control limits. 

Legionella Control Policy vs Water Management Plans

  • 19 novembre 2019
  • Author: Dominick Tuzzo
  • Number of views: 5547
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Legionella Control Policy vs Water Management Plans

We are often asked to review, audit, improve upon, or otherwise comment on Water Management Plans (WMP’s) consisting of no more than a few pages of boilerplate text which, in reality, are actually NOT Water Management ‘Plans’ at all.  Rather, they are simply Legionella control policies.

So, what’s the difference between a “Policy” and a “Plan”?

Policy (always a noun):  a course, principles, rules, guidelines, etc., proposed or formulated by an organization, government, business, or individual, typically published or promulgated throughout the organization, in order to direct organizational behavior towards (or away from) a particular goal, objective, or condition. 

My Building Water System Tested Positive for Legionella: Now What?

  • 23 juillet 2019
  • Author: Dominick Tuzzo
  • Number of views: 5426
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My Building Water System Tested Positive for Legionella: Now What?

We detected the presence of Legionella in one or more of our building water systems….. Now what do we do? This is probably the second most commonly asked question, surpassed only by:  “Do I have to test my water systems for Legionella?”  Often the question is posed this way:

“We recently performed Legionella testing on our building water systems and found one or more positive sample results.  What should we do about it?”

Ice Machines and Legionella

A Growing Problem

Ice Machines and Legionella

Each day people all over the world are exposed to ice. Whether it be from their refrigerator ice machine, their favorite restaurant, during their hospital stay, or on an airplane, people sip on their ice cold beverages or suck on ice chips unaware of the microorganisms that could be sitting dormant within the ice.

Legionella: To Sample, or Not To Sample?...That is the Question

What's required and what is my sampling plan?

  • 9 juillet 2019
  • Author: Dominick Tuzzo
  • Number of views: 5099
  • 0 Comments
Legionella: To Sample, or Not To Sample?...That is the Question

The simple answer is no (not directly), and here’s why:  There is no known safe level of Legionella in a building water system.  Therefore, even a non-detect sample result is not necessarily “safe.” The reason why is because the life cycle of this organism, coupled with the stresses put on it via temperature, disinfectants, etc. found within building water systems, may cause it to enter a viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state. 

4 Ways to Minimize Legionella Risk

Knowing Who, What, When and Why

  • 26 février 2019
  • Author: Dominick Tuzzo
  • Number of views: 6803
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4 Ways to Minimize Legionella Risk

Simply defined:  Risk Management is the process of identification, analysis, and either acceptance, or control of risks you’ve identified.

Biofilm, Amoeba, and Legionella

Steps to their Growth

  • 30 octobre 2018
  • Author: Chem-Aqua, Inc
  • Number of views: 5852
  • 0 Comments
Biofilm, Amoeba, and Legionella

Biofilms are the root cause of serious problems in building potable and industrial water systems including clogged piping, reduced heat transfer efficiency, microbiologically-influenced corrosion, and Legionella transmission. Biofilms are dynamic, complex structures optimized for microbial growth and survival, which make them difficult to remove and control.

Dead Legs, Biofilm, and Legionnaires Disease

One Thing Leads to Another

  • 13 novembre 2017
  • Author: Allan Browning
  • Number of views: 16460
  • 0 Comments
Dead Legs, Biofilm, and Legionnaires Disease

Dead legs in building water systems can cause severe problems, including persistent positive Legionella test results and an increased incidence of Legionnaires’ disease. A basic understanding of dead legs, how to recognize them, and how to manage the problems they cause can help building owners reduce the risks associated with Legionella and other pathogens in their water systems.

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