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2 June 2018
Scientists reveal atomic details for one of Legionella's enzymatic weapons and develop first inhibitor

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major medical problem worldwide, impacting both human health and economic well-being. A new strategy for fighting bacteria has now been reported in the latest online issue of Nature by a research group headed by Prof. Ivan Dikic at the Goethe University Frankfurt. The scientists revealed the molecular action mechanism of a Legionella toxin and developed a first inhibitor.

Scientists reveal atomic details for one of Legionella's enzymatic weapons and develop first inhibitor

As resistance continues to spread, common infections such as pneumonia and salmonellosis are becoming increasingly harder to treat. Two factors drive the AMR crisis: human negligence in the use of antibiotics and a lack of truly novel antibiotics for more than 30 years. According to a recent report by the World Bank, by 2050, AMR may reduce the global gross domestic product by 1.1 percent to 3.8 percent, depending on which scenario plays out.

Source: www.phys.org

1 June 2018
Legionnaires’ Outbreak Followed by Explosion Leads To £1.6 Million Fine

A manufacturer has been fined £1.6 million after a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak and an explosion occurred at the same plant within a year. The Health and Safety Executive investigated and prosecuted car parts maker Faltec Europe Limited in relation to both incidents. Five people fell seriously ill following the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak and one worker suffered serious burns from the explosion incident.

Legionnaires’ Outbreak Followed by Explosion Leads To £1.6 Million Fine

On May 17, Newcastle Crown Court heard that between October 2014 and June 2015, two employees, two agency workers and a local resident fell seriously ill with Legionnaires Disease. The HSE found the illness was caused by Faltec’s failure to effectively manage its water cooling systems within the factory, causing the legionella bacteria within the water supply to grow to potentially lethal levels.

Source: www.twinfm.com

22 May 2018
Advanced Water Technologies - Welcomes A New Operations Manager

This past month Advanced Water Technologies has welcomed onboard their new Operations Manager – Mike Myers MBIFM M.W.M.Soc. Mike joins the business from another water treatment company, prior to that he was the Facilities Manager for a private school, and he served for 18 years as a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Air Force.

Advanced Water Technologies works hard to ensure that the services it delivers are compliant to ACOPL8 and associated HSG’s, and HTM04/01; supporting clients in the prevention and control of legionella and other water bacteria. To ensure this is the case, it is Mike’s aim to visit and audit every site managed by AWT in the coming 12 - 14 months. Additionally, ensuring that day to day operations of the Company are run smoothly and in accordance with company policies and procedures.

Advanced Water Technologies - Welcomes A New Operations Manager

Mike is a keen cyclist and uses that passion to raise money for several charities each year. Most recently completing the Maserati Tour De Yorkshire event, raising funds for Maggi’s Cancer Care (his just giving page remains open!). His next challenge will be in July, when he will ‘Pedal for Parkinson’s’ – aiming to complete 500 miles during July.

2 May 2018
Bath's Royal United Hospital fined £300,000 for Legionnaires water supply risks exposed after man's death

The Royal United Hospital admitted health and safety failings following the death of a man in 2015. The family of a man who died in hospital in Bath after contracting a water borne disease say they hope no other family will suffer as they have, following an investigation which exposed risks to other patients. When Terence Brooks, 68, died from Legionnaires’ disease in July 2015 a breach in health and safety at the Royal United Hospital was exposed.

Bath’s Royal United Hospital fined £300,000 for Legionnaires water supply risks exposed after man’s death

The Health and Safety Executive has warned the hospital’s failings are “concerning” today (April 20) after a sentencing hearing at Bristol Crown Court ended with a hefty £300,000 fine for the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust. An earlier inquest found Mr Brooks contracted the deadly legionella bacteria while on the William Budd ward, where he was a cancer inpatient.

Source - somersetlive.com

2 May 2018
Controlling Legionella - Room for Improvement in Clinical Practices & Water Management

Legionnaires’ disease has been on the rise in the United States since 2000, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); although upwards of 6000 cases were reported in 2016, the CDC stressed that this may, in fact, be an underestimation. The reason behind this increase in cases remains to be determined; however, it is safe to say that the answer is multifactorial. One such factor is that there has been an increase in the susceptibility of people in the United States; the populating is aging, and there is an increasing number of individuals on immunosuppressive medications.

Controlling Legionella - Room for Improvement in Clinical Practices & Water Management

As the disease receives more media attention—with outbreaks constantly making headlines—Legionnaires’ has become a public health priority, and, as such, efforts to prevent the disease are expanding. Guidelines on controlling the disease have been developed, and regulations focused on improving clinical surveillance of the disease and water management in health care facilities have been put into place in certain jurisdictions.

Source - contagionlive.com

18 Apr 2018
DNA testing can rapidly solve Legionnaires' disease outbreaks

A DNA test method called polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allowed New York City health officials to identify the source of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak within hours of specimen collection and should be considered in all Legionnaires' outbreak investigations, researchers say in the April issue of the Journal of Environmental Health.

DNA testing can rapidly solve Legionnaires' disease outbreaks

Their study describes the outbreak response and innovative use of PCR rather than the standard method of bacterial culture, which generally takes five to 10 days for a lab to detect the presence of Legionella bacteria, said co-author Christopher Boyd, who led the city's response to the 2014 Legionnaires' outbreak as then-assistant commissioner of environmental sciences and engineering.

"In an outbreak investigation, the ability to identify and mitigate possible sources of exposure is critical to preventing more people from becoming infected. By using PCR, we were able to mitigate risks days earlier than if we had relied on traditional culture methods," said Boyd, who is now general manager of Building Water Health at NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit public health and safety organization.

"Our approach likely helped prevent more people from getting sick, because we were responding much sooner."

Source - sciencedaily.com

18 Apr 2018
Measurement chip detects Legionella

Microarray rapid test speeds up detection in case of a Legionella pneumophila outbreak. In an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, finding the exact source as quickly as possible is essential to preventing further infections. To date, a standard analysis takes days. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have now developed a rapid test that achieves the same result in about 35 minutes.

Measurement chip detects Legionella

Legionella are rod-shaped bacteria that can cause life-threatening pneumonia in humans. They multiply in warm water and can be dispersed into the air via cooling towers, evaporative re-cooling systems and hot water systems.

The most dangerous among the almost 50 species of Legionella is Legionella pneumophila. It is responsible for 80 percent of all infections. When an outbreak occurs, the source of the germs must be identified as soon as possible to prevent further infections.

Similar to a paternity test, the origin of the outbreak is confirmed when the germs in the process water of a technical system exactly match those identified in the patient. However, often numerous systems must be tested in the process, and the requisite cultivation for the test takes around ten days.

Source - dailymail.co.uk

12 Mar 2018
Legionella Conference 2018: Approaches for successfully preventing the spread of Legionella in buildings, hospitals and other at-risk facilities

NSF International, a global public health and safety organisation, is hosting Legionella Conference 2018 - Managing Legionella and Other Pathogens in Building Water Systems on May 9-11, 2018, in Baltimore, Maryland. The three-day conference is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and marks the first time experts from industry, academia, public health, medicine and government will meet to discuss Legionella and other pathogens found in water distribution systems, building water plumbing systems and cooling towers.

Legionella Conference 2018: Approaches for successfully preventing the spread of Legionella in buildings, hospitals and other at-risk facilities

Legionella Conference attendees will discuss and learn the latest monitoring, treatment and management approaches for successfully preventing the spread of Legionella in buildings, hospitals and other at-risk facilities.

Source - outbreaknewstoday.com

12 Mar 2018
Deadly Legionnaires' bug is lurking at the CAR WASH: Two men became seriously ill with the disease after inhaling infected water droplets

The incidents occurred in Italy, but could also take place in the UK. Legionella bacteria thrive in warm, stagnant water, found at car washes. Legionnaires' disease affects around 500 people a year in England alone. People are choosing showers over baths and bacteria gather on the heads. Showers in 1.5 million homes across the UK could be harbouring such bacteria.

Deadly Legionnaires' bug is lurking at the CAR WASH: Two men became seriously ill with the disease after inhaling infected water droplets

Visiting a car wash could be life-threatening, new research suggests. Two men became seriously ill with Legionnaires' disease after inhaling infected water droplets from separate car washes in Italy, a study found. According to microbiologist Dr Tom Makin, a senior consultant at Legionella control, the same risk applies in the UK.

Source - dailymail.co.uk

01 Feb 2018
Legionella Bacteria Found In Plumbing At Nursing Home

A strain of legionella bacteria has been found in the plumbing system of a County Antrim nursing home.

It was discovered at Broadways Nursing Home in Larne in November. The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) said, that while the bacteria is present, there has not been an outbreak of legionnaire's disease.

Legionella Bacteria Found In Plumbing At Nursing Home

The entire water system at the home is being replaced to address the issue. The home said the issue would be resolved in the coming weeks. The RQIA said use of some taps in the home have been withdrawn and others restricted as a precaution. Tap filters and bottled water have also been provided to residents. The regulatory body has also notified the Health and Safety Executive.

Source - bbc.co.uk

01 Feb 2018
13 People Infected In Latest Legionella Outbreak In Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal, the number of people infected in the latest Legionella outbreak in Portugal climbed to 13 in January 2018, the country's Directorate-General of Health (DGS) announced.

13 People Infected In Latest Legionella Outbreak In Portugal

The outbreak was first reported on Sunday, with 4 cases detected at the CUF Descobertas Hospital in Lisbon. The number of infected has since risen to 13, of whom 9 are female and 3 are in intensive care.

The hospital's shower system is thought to be the most likely cause, with sink taps being investigated too. Legionella is a bacteria that lives in water. It is best known as the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's disease, a serious form of pneumonia.

In 2017, 233 cases of Legionella were detected in Portugal. In 2014, a Legionella outbreak in Vila Franca de Xira, a region in the east of Lisbon district, infected 375 and killed 12.

Source - xinhuanet.com

22 Jan 2018
Tackling the Threat of Legionella

Legionella can plague marine vessels but an effective Water Safety Plan can help to mitigate the risk, says John Chillingworth, senior marine principal at Lucion Marine.

Initial symptoms of Legionella usually include flu-like symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain and fever, with symptoms of pneumonia once bacteria begin to infect the lungs. There are different degrees of Legionella: the worst can cause death but there is a lesser known form called Pontiac, which can often be misdiagnosed as flu and can only be accurately verified by having a urine test. While the Pontiac strain is like a severe five-day flu for fit people, it can be worse for older people or those with breathing difficulties.

Tackling the Threat of Legionella

The disease, which isn't contagious and can't be spread directly from person-to-person, is usually caught by breathing-in small droplets of contaminated water, usually in showers - it’s transmitted by an air-borne mist and can develop in still water between 20°C and 50°C. It can also lie dormant in otherwise ‘safe’ water systems for years, protecting itself in other matter available in the water system biofilm. It is therefore important that water supplies are kept below 20°C for cold water and 50°C for the hot supply.

Over the years there have been a number of high profile cases that have hit the headlines highlighting the risk of the disease in the marine environment, particularly among cruise ship passengers. Showers that have not been used for several days or weeks, along with poorly managed whirlpools, jacuzzis, spray from decorative fountains or water features, can all be sources for contracting Legionella-related illnesses. There have also been cases of shipyard fitters dying from Legionella after stripping down equipment such as pumps and being exposed to contaminated water.

However, all types of ships are at risk including off-shore accommodation vessels, which are known to have had several cases of the disease after being laid up and re-commissioned without the proper attention to potable (drinking) water safety. Container vessels have large potable storage tanks that are used infrequently, while skin tanks may prevent a ship’s water system from maintaining the cold-water temperature below 25°C. 

Although there is far more awareness today of the risks of onboard Legionella and its effects, there’s a perceived lack of knowledge at both vessel management and crew level. There’s also a significant corporate risk with the potential damage to reputation, and operator integrity on the line, for anyone whose vessel is affected by the disease.

This all reinforces the need for a thorough Legionella risk assessment to be included as part of a preventative ship repair and maintenance programme and yards should be alerted to any potential risks before a vessel arrives in dock. A proper Water Safety Plan (WSP), as recommended by WHO Water Safety Guidelines, should be implemented and based on an individual vessel risk assessment, and not, as is usually the case, a generic set of broad guidelines. This must also be ‘owned’ by the vessel’s management.

Source - maritime-executive.com

22 Jan 2018
Deadly Legionella Bacteria Are Common in U.S. Building Plumbing

Bacteria responsible for the deadliest waterborne disease in the United States are frequent residents of the cooling towers that are a part of heating and air conditioning systems in apartments, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, and other large buildings, according to a study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Legionnaires’ disease, the pneumonia-like illness spread by Legionella bacteria, sickens thousands annually in the United States and kills hundreds. Cooling towers, because they can disperse contaminated droplets over many miles, are implicated in numerous outbreaks of the disease.

It’s a scenario that should concern building managers throughout the country, the study authors argue.

Deadly Legionella Bacteria Are Common in U.S. Building Plumbing

“Finding the bacteria in all regions that we studied makes us aware that Legionella outbreaks are a possibility everywhere,” Brian Raphael, a CDC microbiologist and study co-author, told Circle of Blue.

The bacteria, which grow in warm waters in plumbing systems, target the lungs. Infection occurs when people inhale bacteria, having become airborne in the spray from a cooling tower, fountain, showerhead, or faucet. The ill and the elderly are most at risk — and that risk appears to be growing. Reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease have risen sharply, showing a four-fold increase in the United States since the year 2000, according to the CDC.

The study’s publication comes as the National Academy of Sciences begins an investigation next month of how to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and as a series of infections at a state-run veterans home in Illinois has brought the disease to the attention of the governor and one of the state’s U.S. senators.

Source - circleofblue.org

18 Dec 2017
Worst care homes in England for good quality care are right under the noses of MPs

The worst care homes in England for decent standards of care can be found right under MPs’ noses in Westminster, according to a new investigation by consumer champion Which?.

The lack of good quality care is by far the worst in the central London borough where almost seven in 10 beds (69 per cent) were found in care homes rated as below standard, analysis of Care Quality Commission (CQC) data found. Parts of the country have more than half of their care home beds in homes rated as requiring improvement or inadequate, the investigation reveals. In Manchester and Wakefield, three in five beds (58 per cent) are in below-standard homes, closely followed by Kirklees (57 per cent), in West Yorkshire, Portsmouth (56 per cent) and Tameside (55 per cent). A lack of quality care and increase in Legionella are directly linked.

In total, nearly a third of local authority areas, or 45 councils, have one in three beds or more in poor-quality care homes. Nine of these are in the capital with the wealth of the borough not seeming to play a role in outcomes: and Chelsea, one of the wealthiest areas, had almost exactly the same number of inadequate beds as Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived areas of London. At least nine in 10 care home beds are in homes rated as good or outstanding in a small number of areas, including the Isles of Scilly, which had a perfect 100 per cent score, Richmond upon Thames (94 per cent), Rutland (91 per cent) and Blackburn with Darwen (90 per cent).

Source - inews.co.uk

18 Dec 2017
Why your stainless steel sink and kitchen taps could be increasing your risk of Legionnaires' disease

Stainless steel sinks and kitchen taps could increase the risk of contracting deadly Legionnaires' disease, new research reveals.

Why your stainless steel sink and kitchen taps could be increasing your risk of Legionnaires' disease

Legionnaires' bacteria is found in highest concentrations in stainless steel taps. Such taps may encourage bacterial growth as their protective coating degrades. Legionnaires', which causes headaches and fever, has been linked to rust before

Researchers believe taps should be tested for their bacterial safety before sale. The growth of bacteria responsible for Legionnaires', which has previously been linked to rust, is highest in stainless steel taps, a study found. Such taps are thought to encourage bacterial growth as their protective coating typically degrades over time, promoting rusting, according to the researchers.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommends people avoid Legionnaires' by keeping hot-water systems heated to between 50 and 60°C, as well as running taps regularly to avoid water standing for too long. Legionnaires’ disease, which causes headaches, muscle pain, fever and confusion, affected around 7,000 people in Europe in 2015, however, the ECDC believes there may have been many more unreported incidences.

Source – dailymail.co.uk

18 Dec 2017
Legionnaires' Disease Is Rising At An Alarming Rate In The U.S.

The waterborne bacterial infection kills 1 in 10 patients who contract it. And fighting outbreaks is a multi-front battle.

Health officials are increasingly concerned about the continuous uptick of Legionnaires’ disease cases, which have risen steadily since 2000.

While the waterborne bacterial disease is relatively rare ― with 6,238 cases nationwide so far this year ― there has been a 13.6 percent increase in cases since this time last year. That’s nearly double the increase of 7.8 percent from 2015 to 2016 in the same time period.

The disease is not contagious. It’s contracted when people breathe in water droplets contaminated with Legionella pneumophilia bacteria.

“A person acquires Legionnaires’ disease from mist, ”Julien Martinez, assistant press secretary at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told HuffPost in October. “Most cases of Legionnaires’ disease can be traced to plumbing systems where conditions are favourable for Legionella growth, such as cooling towers, whirlpool spas, hot tubs, humidifiers, hot water tanks and evaporative condensers of large air-conditioning systems.”

Source - huffingtonpost.co.uk

23 Oct 2017
New protocol for cooling towers to prevent Legionellosis

Global public health organization NSF International has published a new protocol, which outlines proper maintenance and safety practices associated with evaporative cooling systems.

New protocol for cooling towers to prevent Legionellosis

NSF P453: Cooling Towers – Treatment, Operation, and Maintenance to Prevent Legionellosis also addresses health concerns associated with commercial buildings, including health care facilities, whose residents may experience health issues such as Legionellosis from improperly maintained water systems. It can also be can be used by facilities to establish a management plan for the treatment, operation and maintenance of cooling tower water systems.

The protocol can be applied in Canada and references follow local regulations from the Authority Having Jurisdiction. It uses the water safety plan approach recommended by the World Health Organization to assemble a team, identify potential hazards and establish control measures to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, fewer than 100 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported each year, but the actual number of infections could be much higher. Statistics are also worrisome in other parts of the world. In the U.S., 5,000 cases of Legionnaires’ disease are reported each year.

Source - reminetwork.com

23 Oct 2017
Legionnaires’ Disease again plaguing state’s veterans home

Back in 2015, more than 50 residents of Quincy’s Illinois Veterans Home came down with Legionnaires’ Disease and nine veterans died.

The state spent almost $5 million upgrading the home’s water treatment system in 2016. But not long after that unveiling, two more veterans contracted the disease. And here we go again, two cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been confirmed at the Illinois Veterans Home Wednesday morning.

Legionnaires’ Disease again plaguing state’s veterans home

David MacDonna, a Public Information Officer with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs says Legionella tests came back positive for two residents. One of those residents is now deceased, however, the Illinois Veterans Home says the individual had a complex medical issue aside from Legionnaires’. The second individual is being treated for the disease. “We work continuously with the Adams County Health Department to identify any potential sources. We’ve done an extensive renovation, including a brand new water treatment plant to provide higher quality water,” said MacDonna.

Source - capitolfax.com

23 Oct 2017
Deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak kills one tourist and leaves 17 seriously ill in Majorca

Spanish health chiefs are investigating the cases on Palmanova, the neighbouring resort of Magaluf, after positive samples of Legionnaires’ were found at an unnamed hotel.

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has killed one tourist and left another 17 seriously ill on a Majorcan island popular with British holidaymakers. Spanish health chiefs are investigating the cases on Palmanova, the neighbouring resort of Magaluf.

Positive samples of Legionnaires’ have been found at an unnamed hotel where eight of the 18 people affected were staying. Experts are currently awaiting the results of tests at other hotels in the area, as well as fountains, beach showers and a local water park. Today it emerged one of the 18 people known to have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’ had died in Son Espases Hospital in Majorca’s capital Palma a week ago.

Source - mirror.co.uk

15 Nov 2013
Cooling Tower HSE Audits

Does Your Business Have a Cooling Tower? Expect a HSE Audit Soon!

In light of the recent threat posed by Legionnaires' disease to the UK water supplies, the HSE have implemented an Intervention Programme to protect cooling towers from becoming infected with this potentially fatal bacteria.

What is Legionnaires?

Legionnaires' disease is a serious form of pneumonia that devolves from the Legionella bacteria, known to reproduce most efficiently in stagnant water. In 2011, there were 235 reported cases of the disease in England and Wales alone. The HSE hopes that by auditing the UK's cooling towers, this number should be set to fall between 2012 and 2014, when the Intervention Programme will run.

The Intervention Programme

The HSE has adopted the powers to take interventional action should they conclude that a tower's records/actions are not in compliance with ACoP L8. The audit looks for compliance in four main areas:

1. Risk Assessment

Ensuring that risk assessments are carried out every two years, or more frequently where changes occur. These should be able to effectively identify any potential sources of risk in order to eliminate them from the system.

2. Written Scheme

This should identify the accountability of each responsibility, setting out a clear 'who does what' procedure for dealing with potential risks. Details on site operation, risk assessments, cleaning and reviews should also be listed for the cooling tower.

3. Implementing and Controlling the System

This should detail system monitoring procedures, control parameters for water treatment and titles such as membership of the LCA for the water treatment company.

4. Record Keeping

Water treatment companies should have extensive and accurate record keeping detailing reports, external visits, log sheets and any relevant information relating to the site's cooling tower(s).

What Next?

The HSE aims to effectively target the outbreak of legionnaires disease to prevent infection around the UK, by enforcing these standards with a combination of assessment and action.

More Information

For more information about Legionnaires' disease and for practical advice regarding its prevention visit the HSE site.

Alternatively, feel free to email us at info@advanced-water.co.uk

05 Nov 2013
Non Oxidising Biocides: How to Use Them

Non oxidising biocides are used alongside oxidising biocides to ensure a low population of microbes such as legionella. Two non-oxidising biocides can also be used in an alternating programme as in certain circumstances a reduced efficiency can develop . Using them, one should monitor the microbiological activity in the cooling water on a regular basis by dip slide analysis and specific Legionella analysis on a quarterly basis.

What Are They?

Non oxidising biocides are chemicals that attack certain organs of the micro-organism. This may be the cell wall or reproductive system. Non oxidising biocides include Ammonium salts, Glutaraldehyde, DBNPH and Isothiazolinones.

All are very toxic so should be used usually in low doses to prevent damage to the environment when the cooling system is bled. They all have differing half lives and persistence so it is essential that the system volume and bleed rate of a cooling system are known so that a killing dose level is held in the system for the requisite time.

Application

Relatively small doses are usually used. Between 50 and 300 ppm depending on the type of biocide and the cleanliness of the system water. It is usual to add them to the water using a suitable pump and timer system.

Addition to the cooling system should be based on the known half life. Essentially you should top up as soon as the dose concentration falls to below the killing concentration. Your Water Treatment contractor would be able to help with this.

Monitoring

In order to maintain an effective toxicity the cooling water should be monitored regularly for chemical and microbiological composition. This will ensure that microbial levels are kept at safe levels at all times.

Find out More

To find out more about this subject please call our specialist team on 01925 713273, or email us info@advanced-water.co.uk.

21 Oct 2013
2 Physical Interventions to Reduce Microbial Growth in Cooling Systems

Through exposure to ultraviolet light, and copper and silver ionisation techniques, you can reduce microbial growth in your cooling system. This blog will discuss the processes involved in using the two techniques.

Both electromagnetic and ionisation techniques have maintenance issues but choosing the right antimicrobial system will ensure a safe cooling water supply.

Ultraviolet 

By exposing micro-organisms to certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation you can maintain their populations at safe levels. This process is used to render drinking water safe and can also be used in process water systems. It is rarely used in cooling water systems.

Using wavelengths of 250 - 270 nanometres you can deactivate most harmful bacteria. Being light, it needs relatively clear water with low levels of suspended material to work. As such it is recommended that the water is filtered upstream of the light source to ensure that the light can reach the whole area being treated.

Dosages of UV light radiation are measured in milliwatt seconds per square centimetre (mW/s cm2). The minimum effective exposure is recognised as 20mW/s cm2. In order to maintain this rate it is important to regularly monitor the system and keep the light source clean.

Copper and Silver Ionisation 

This system can be used in conjunction with a free chlorine oxidising biocide. Copper and silver ions persist better in water systems in the presence of chlorine levels of around 0.2mg/kg.

Copper and silver ions kill bacteria by interfering with their cell walls. The best concentrations of copper and silver ions is between 15-20 microgrammes per litre.

This system is not recommended in hard water areas as limescale can cover the electrodes that release the ions into the water supply. pH levels are important in such treatment systems as silver ions won’t be maintained at a suitable level at pH 7.6 or above.

23 Sep 2013
Cooling Tower Safety: Be Bacteria Aware!

Legionnaire's Disease can be fatal. Making sure your cooling tower is correctly maintained is the best way to prevent an outbreak of the illness among the users of your building.

There are three factors to be aware of in cooling tower maintenance.

Corrosion

Many cooling systems are made of mild steel. Legionella bacteria love rust and use the Iron as nutrient in order to grow in numbers . Preventing corrosion of the pipes will reduce risks of Legionella reaching dangerous levels.

Formation

You will have run into limescale in your kettle or washing machine at home. This is an accretion of deposits from the water supply. As with rust, Legionella will form colonies on limescale deposits and from there may increase the risk of causing an outbreak.

Fouling in Pipes

Apart from rust and limescale there are other deposits that can form in the pipes of a cooling system. These include:

  • Biological deposits such as insects that have got into the system.
  • Silt and clay from outside the cooling system.
  • Airborne dust and debris.

As with the rust and limescale these deposits will form a nice place for Legionella to colonise and become a risk. Keeping your cooling tower clean wherever possible will ensure that there is no build up of these deposits.

2 Ways of Prevention

  1. All cooling systems should use biocides to kill off Legionella. When the system is being treated it is important that the whole cooling system is brought online so there is nowhere for the bacteria to hide.
  2. Another way is to set up a bleed from the system so that comtaminated and concentrated water is removed when pre-determined levels are reached. The water level in the system is maintained by allowing fresh water to come in.

Considering the serious risks of a Legionnaire's Disease outbreak it is vital to maintain your cooling tower correctly to prevent serious illness or death.

23 Sep 2013
How to Avoid a Legionella Disease Outbreak: Monitoring Your Way Out of Trouble

Legionnaire's Disease can be a killer - it is very important you prevent a build up of Legionella bacteria to prevent such an outbreak of the disease. Routine monitoring will ensure a safe environment for everyone in the building where your cooling system operates.

Things to Monitor

You should monitor the environment in which the bacteria live in order to make it as unsuitable as possible for a build up to occur. You should also monitor overall and specific Legionella bacterial levels so you can prevent an outbreak as soon as possible before anyone is harmed.

Monitoring the environment includes pH testing, dissolved and suspended solids levels, dissolved and soluble Iron levels and water hardness. In monitoring these levels you can help minimise the bacteria from growing in significant numbers in the first place.

It is difficult to directly measure non-oxidising biocide levels in the cooling system so this must be done by calculating the volume of the system, the bleed off rate and half life of the biocides - the time it takes to reduce to a non-effective “killing“ dose.

It is possible to measure oxidising biocide levels, typically Chlorine, Bromine or Chlorine dioxide. This is done with a simple test and should be done regularly, the frequency depending on the type of system.

Bacterial levels themselves should also be monitored on a regular basis. In the next section we will discuss how to do this.

Monitoring overall bacteria levels and specific Legionella Levels

It is important that you have not recently given the system a biocide treatment just before as you will get false results.

Monitoring overall bacterial levels is done with a dip slide that has an Agar gel on it. The dip slide should be dipped in the water supply for approx.10 seconds, allowed to drain and then incubated for 48 hrs at 30*C. The slide is then evaluated by comparing it with a coloured chart. The level of overall bacterial activity should be less than 10,000 cfu/ml.

Monitoring overall levels of Legionella bacteria is done by taking a one litre sample and submitting it to an independent laboratory for a specific and involved test. Initial results will be available from 3 days after submission of the sample. The full test will be completed in 10-14 days. If a Legionella positive is confirmed then further action is needed. To be decided in conjunction with your Water Treatment supplier.

Find out more

To find out more about Legionella please visit the following links:

You can contact our experienced team on 01925 713273.

23 Sep 2013
How to Avoid a Legionella Disease Outbreak: Monitoring Your Way Out of Trouble

Legionnaire's Disease can be a killer - it is very important you prevent a build up of Legionella bacteria to prevent such an outbreak of the disease. Routine monitoring will ensure a safe environment for everyone in the building where your cooling system operates.

Things to Monitor

You should monitor the environment in which the bacteria live in order to make it as unsuitable as possible for a build up to occur. You should also monitor overall and specific Legionella bacterial levels so you can prevent an outbreak as soon as possible before anyone is harmed.

Monitoring the environment includes pH testing, dissolved and suspended solids levels, dissolved and soluble Iron levels and water hardness. In monitoring these levels you can help minimise the bacteria from growing in significant numbers in the first place.

It is difficult to directly measure non-oxidising biocide levels in the cooling system so this must be done by calculating the volume of the system, the bleed off rate and half life of the biocides - the time it takes to reduce to a non-effective “killing“ dose.

It is possible to measure oxidising biocide levels, typically Chlorine, Bromine or Chlorine dioxide. This is done with a simple test and should be done regularly, the frequency depending on the type of system.

Bacterial levels themselves should also be monitored on a regular basis. In the next section we will discuss how to do this.

Monitoring overall bacteria levels and specific Legionella Levels

It is important that you have not recently given the system a biocide treatment just before as you will get false results.

Monitoring overall bacterial levels is done with a dip slide that has an Agar gel on it. The dip slide should be dipped in the water supply for approx.10 seconds, allowed to drain and then incubated for 48 hrs at 30*C. The slide is then evaluated by comparing it with a coloured chart. The level of overall bacterial activity should be less than 10,000 cfu/ml.

Monitoring overall levels of Legionella bacteria is done by taking a one litre sample and submitting it to an independent laboratory for a specific and involved test. Initial results will be available from 3 days after submission of the sample. The full test will be completed in 10-14 days. If a Legionella positive is confirmed then further action is needed. To be decided in conjunction with your Water Treatment supplier.

Find out more

To find out more about Legionella please visit the following links:

You can contact our experienced team on 01925 713273.

26 Jun 2013
Points To Consider When Choosing Between Legionella Monitoring Systems

Almost all water systems in the UK are at risk of being contaminated with Legionella, the bacteria which causes Legionnaires Disease. And to this day, the disease itself remains a considerable threat to the lives of people across the country.

It is therefore vital that anyone responsible for managing a water system in the UK not only installs a Legionella Monitoring System, but also ensures that the approach they choose is effective.

Under HSE regulations it is required that the people you choose to carry out the Legionella risk assessment on your water system are fully competent to do the job. However it is possible for providers to go much further.

Does Your Service Providers Add Value

The best Legionella monitoring system providers will not only assess the risk that is currently in your water system, but will also provide advice and support to create a standard operating procedure that will minimise future risk as well.

Legionella bacteria are most prevalent in water that is held between 20 and 45 centigrade and cannot survive in temperatures above 60 centigrade. In many cases, it is therefore possible to reduce the risk of Legionella simply by adjusting the thermostat.

The speed of flow within the water system can also influence the risk of infection as can the types of materials used to create the equipment and its on going cleanliness.

Any fully competent Legionella assessor will be able to identify areas within the system that are prone to contamination and provide the resources to resolve any potential issues.

Do They Provide Training

Though a professional assessor should carry out your Legionella monitoring, it is also essential that your employees are aware of the risks and how to reduce them.

Choose a service provider that offers awareness training to the relevant staff. This will ensure the risk of Legionnaire's disease developing in your water system can be minimised by those that work with it every day but also that the relevant personnel are aware of the their responsibilities should an outbreak occur.

Want to Find out More?

19 Jun 2013
The 4 Types of Water Impurities Removed by Effective Steam Boiler Treatment

When using an industrial steam boiler, one of the biggest potential hazards comes from the impurities in the water itself. These manifest themselves in four key forms that, without effective treatment, can lead to considerable damage within the entire system.

1. Dissolved Solids

The main offenders of dissolved solids in steam boilers are calcium and magnesium. Both sulphates are scale forming when they are heated and can therefore leave hazardous deposits within the boiler and pipe network. Such deposits can lead to a reduction in the overall flow of the boiler and ultimately to blockages, corrosion, or total equipment failure.

2. Suspended Solids

Unlike dissolved solids, suspended solids remain in the water system in their original form, which makes them more likely to cause blockages or create areas of contamination. Thankfully, most solids of this nature can be filtered out of the water system before they enter the boiler. However, regular checks are required to ensure no such materials have been deposited.

3. Dissolved Gasses

Dissolved gasses such as oxygen and carbon dioxide are one of the major causes of corrosion within the standard industrial steam boiler. They cause weaknesses within the system that can result in a shorter lifespan for the effected equipment.

As such, impurities occur naturally in the water and it is very difficult to effectively reduce the levels of these solutions within contained water. However, effective steam boiler treatment will dilute the level of dissolved gasses and introduce corrosion resistant practices into the boiler that will combat their effect.

4. Scum Forming Substances

When scum or foam forms on the top of any water surface, it is a key indication that impurities exist that could harm the productivity or lifespan of the equipment involved. When scum or foam is discovered, detailed testing is required to identify the specific substance causing the scum and to identify the treatment required.

Whenever you employ a company to treat your industrial boiler, ask them how they combat each type of water impurity within their steam boiler treatment to ensure your service is going to be fully effective.

Find out more about our steam boiler treatment service.

07 Jun 2013
Legionnaires Disease Monitoring

Legionnaires Disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. It is developed by inhaling air born particles of water that contain the Legionella bacteria, which attack the lungs and other internal organs of the body.

Legionnaires Disease Monitoring

Though Legionella is naturally found in the waters and environment in which we live, the bacteria can rapidly develop to dangerous levels when they enter any man-made water system.

In Europe alone, more than 32,000 cases of Legionnaires Disease were reported in the ten years up to 2005, with forecasts of cases expected to rise over the coming years.

Though not all cases are terminal, with fatality rates ranging from 5% up to 50% for the most severe infections, Legionnaires Disease remains a significant threat.

In 2010 38 people died in England and Wales due to Legionaires Disease with symptoms ranging from organ failure to sceptic shock brought on by the infection.

The Risk of Legionaires Disease

The Legionella bacteria is potentially fatal to any victim, even if the person in question has been in good health. This means everyone who comes into contact with infected water vapour is vulnerable.

Furthermore, it is possible for this bacteria to remain active within the air for long periods of time. During one case in the French region of Pas-de-Calais, it was discovered that victims had been infected at a distance of over 6 kilometres away from the original infected water source, resulting in a total of 21 of the 86 people involved loosing their lives.

It is therefore essential that all commercial water systems are effectively monitored and managed to reduce the chances of Legionnaires Disease becoming an issue.

The Advantages of Legionnaires Disease Monitoring

When carried out effectively, Legionnaires Disease monitoring can manage the level of Legionella bacteria within the water system to reduce the risk of an outbreak occurring.

All companies that work with artificial water supplies are legally required to comply to strict health and safety regulations which govern the monitoring and control of the Legionella bacteria.

In the UK, duties required to comply with this legislation are defined by the Health and Safety Executive. They state that any individual who manages a commercial water system is not only responsible for ensuring regular risk assessments are carried out in relation to the threat of legionnaires disease within their water, but also that they have responsibility for preventing and managing any risks as they occur.

How to Prevent Legionnaires Disease

To find out more about how we can help you with your Legionalla Monitoring, please call us on 01925 713273.

The key to preventing Legionnaires Disease is to ensure that any water contained within an artificial system is effectively managed to ensure it complies to health and safety limits.

As the Legionella bacteria thrives in warm stagnant water, all liquids should be kept at a temperature below 20°C or above 60°C wherever possible and kept moving to ensure that it the liquid remains fresh.

This means that water systems should be regularly cleaned and maintained to reduce the chances of the bacteria being able to form in slow moving or stagnant water, and that regular checks for the levels of Legionella bacteria are crucial.

Want to find out more?

For further information on the responsibilities of the actions that must be carried out when working with water systems refer to the Health and Safety Executive website to ensure your workplace complies.

To find out more about the services we can offer you please visit our services pages on Legionella:

If you would like to talk to one of our experienced team members please call us on 01925 713273. We look forward to hearing from you.

06 Jun 2013
Cooling Tower Water Treatment

As the steam evaporates within the heat exchange process in a cooling tower, the concentration of water left behind rises. This can cause problems of contamination, corrosion, scale formation and fouling. Only with comprehensive cooling tower water treatments is it possible to avoid the long term costs associated with the reduced efficiency, equipment failure and health and safety risks that can result.

Cooling Tower Water Treatment

1. Contamination

The Public Health Laboratory Service recently discovered that 0% of all man-made water systems in the UK contain legionella, the bacteria which causes the potentially fatal Legionnaires Disease. In fact, the risk of bacterial build up leading to such diseases is so real that the Government have now implemented their own legislation governing the treatment of the water used in cooling towers to ensure that all such systems are managing the threat effectively.

Regular assessment and control at a microbiological level with the use of biocides, is essential to inhibit the development of a range of harmful bacteria within cooling towers. Not only to maintain the health and safety of those living and working near the units, but also to extend the long term efficiency of the system and the operation it supports.

2. Corrosion

In a cooling tower, corrosion can be caused by standard oxidisation and galvanisation, as well as chloride and microbiatic sources which attack the structure of the system.

To avoid the threat of corrosion in cooling towers, it is essential to regulate the chemical content of the water and implement corrosion inhibitors to control the acidic concentration within the system.

Unfortunately, the less corrosive water becomes, the more prone it becomes to limescale. Therefore, effective corrosion management is only possible when carried out alongside scale formation treatment in order to maintain the lifespan of the cooling tower without impeding efficiency.

3. Scale Formation

Limescale is an inevitable by-product of any heat exchange process, even in the softest of water. Yet high levels of scale formation within a cooling tower can have a significant impact on operational effectiveness.

Without effective treatment, it is estimated that the average cooling tower would have to discard 15 gallons of water for every 5 gallons that evaporate, just to maintain suitable concentration levels.

If concentration is too high, solid deposits of limescale reduce the flow of water and severely inhibit the efficiency of the heat exchange. Furthermore, these deposits create an environment ripe for corrosion and the build up of potentially harmful contaminants which can have immediate and severe results.

Introducing water softeners and limescale inhibitors within a full water treatment program can manage scale formation, while managing the overall system concentration can avoid further deposits occurring.

4. Fouling

Even when it is possible to reduce the sediment produced by contamination, corrosion and scale formation, a cooling tower can still be subject to fouling, especially if the water does not come directly from a mains source.

Particles from the air and surrounding atmosphere all find their way into the system which then collects in low-velocity areas. Such deposits lead to the increased possibility of bacterial build-up and corrosion as well as a reduction in the flow of water throughout the system.

If the source of the fouling can be located it is possible to install filtration systems to via either a pre-filtration system, targeting the water entering the system, or a core filtration system within the unit itself.

When combined with regular treatments of polymer dispersant and periodic intensive cleaning, these treatments can improve the overall efficiency of the system and continue the productivity of the cooling tower well into the future.

21 May 2013
Are Legionella Risk Assessments Needed On Your Premises When You Don't Store water?

What Is Legionnaires Disease?

Legionnaires disease is a potentially fatal infectious disease that affects the respiratory system. Symptoms include a fever, chills, coughing, tiredness, vomiting and confusion. The illness can be fatal. Those aged from 45 years upwards are more at risk from death.

The bacteria that causes it, Legionella, is found in any water system be it natural or man made. Therefore, under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health regulations, all owners of premises with water systems must carry out a Legionella risk assessment regularly.

Where Is Legionnaires Found On Commercial Premises?

Legionella bacteria does not spread through person to person contact. It is carried on airborne water droplets which must be inhaled. Such water droplets are produced by hot-water tanks, evaporative condensers, cooling towers or air conditioning systems. This is because this industrial equipment stores hot and cold water in its systems which provides the perfect environment for Legionella to thrive.

So Why Would I Need A Risk Assessment If My Water System Doesn't Store Water?

There are other pieces of common commercial equipment that do harbour Legionella:

  • Deadlegs (This refers to a length of hot or cold water pipe that water does not flow through because the outlet has been blanked off permanently)
  • Shower heads
  • Any long runs of pipe work containing warm water

Moreover, a risk assessment takes into account your type of water system and weather or not the people who could be exposed are within the high risk age group.

So it really will be worthwhile looking into whether or not your company needs a risk assessment. In many cases it may seem like it doesn't apply when in fact it is required.

14 May 2013
Waste Water Treatment Explained

Waste water treatment is a vital process for businesses and companies. Without a waste treatment plan, running costs go up and up. Untreated water causes industrial equipment to scale up and corrode meaning replacements are needed.

Corroded, scaled machinery needs more fuel to operate. Warm dirty water encourages bacteria to grow and fatal diseases like Legionnaires can spread. Where water contacts the manufactured product, a lack of treatment can damage those products. Not to mention the harmful effects of dirty water on the environment.

It is important to find an effective and professional company to treat your commercial waste water for you as pollutants must be at a regulated level before entering community treatment plants.

Which Method Of Treatment Should Be Used?

At the waste water treatment plant, water is treated using chemical, physical or biological methods. Each of these has an important role to play and it is best practice to use a combination of all of them at different stages.

Commonly, physical methods are used first. Next come physical and chemical processes combined. Biological treatment is the next phase. Final advanced stages often utilise physical and chemical methods. However, a programme should be tailored to your individual needs.

Physical Methods

The water is passed through a filter or screen so that any large objects are captured. Sedimentation is also used. Here the water is left to settle so that solids sink to the bottom by way of gravity. The clean water left at the top can then be taken off.

Chemical Methods

With chemical methods a great range of specialist and highly regulated chemicals are used. This aspect of waste treatment is potentially a risk to health or the environment. By choosing a waste water treatment company that is up to date and in compliance with health and safety laws you can ensure that there is no danger. The chemicals act by killing bacteria and any pathogens and slowing the rate of decomposition.

Biological Methods

With biological methods bacterial and other micro-organisms are used to attack and kill harmful, unwanted micro-organisms.

14 May 2013
Cooling Towers Are At Risk From Legionnaires Disease: Is Your Water Treatment Programme In Place?

Cooling Towers are used by many companies to reduce the heat caused by industrial processes. Small units are commonly found on rooftops or attached to walls which dispel heat from air conditioning systems.

Cooling Towers And Legionnaires Disease

Any cooling tower, big or small, can pose a risk of Legionnaires disease. Studies have shown that 40 to 60 percent of cooling towers tested harbour it. If left unchecked the disease spreads via the air. Mist droplets carrying the Legionella bacteria escape from the water system and are inhaled by the people present. A thorough and regular programme of inspection and water treatment is needed to prevent the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria within your cooling tower.

What Can Water Treatment Do?

Halogens such as chlorine or bromine should be added as frequently as possible to keep Legionella bacteria under control. Continuous application is recommended. The use of electronic water treatment devices may also be applied. Material coatings are another approach or bio-static components.

What Can You Do?

Drift eliminators that are in good working order are crucial. It is important to ensure that all components are clean and clear. Be sure to check all seals to prevent water from escaping and bypassing the eliminators.

In the cold water basin sludge and debris can build up and become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. It is important to check for this regularly. Look at the condition of the sump screen. It should be free of trash. Look for any signs of corrosion in all the components of the basin. Again, check all seals.

Some Basic Safety Precautions

If any work is to be done inside your cooling tower turn off the fans first. This prevents contamination and spread. It is also a good idea for any workers to wear a face respirator mask with High Efficiency Particulate Air filters (HEPA) whilst inside the cooling tower.

27 Mar 2013
Legionella Monitoring: An Overview of What is Involved

There is a risk of exposure to Legionella in any workplace where a man-made water system is present. As someone who is in control of business premises, employee or landlord, it is your responsibility to take the precautions necessary to control this risk. Systematic and rigorous monitoring is part of this.

Who Can Monitor?

Legionella monitoring should be carried out by accreditted qualified service provider. Pathogen screening should be tested by a UKAS accredited laboratory. The UK Health & Safety Executive recommends that the sampling method should be in accordance with ISO 11731:19988. A service provider will offer an extensive package that includes screening for Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli O157, Campylobacter, Clostridium, Perfringens, Pseudomonas and Norwalk virus as well as Legionella.

Which Bacteria is Monitored?

An efficient and well planned monitoring programme will not look for Legionella bacteria every time a sample is taken. This is because complex, specialist laboratory techniques are required to identify Legionella. Instead, general bacterial species will be tested for regularly. This is a more straightforward process which can indicate whether or not your microbiological controls remain effective. Alongside this Legionella will be monitored for periodically.

How Often Will Samples be Taken?

Whilst general bacteria is being tested for regularly, Legionella should be looked for on an annual basis from hot & cold water systems, more frequent quarterly analysis for Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condenser systems. There are times when it will be necessary to sample for Legionella more frequently. For example, during outbreaks, companies may be called on to submit extra samples to help find the source. Moreover, if you are commissioning a new water based system, samples for Legionella should be taken on a monthly basis until it is certain that the new system is under control.

What Will Happen if a Sample is Positive?

Legionella is a bacteria widely prevalent in nature, so it is likely to be found during monitoring quite frequently. If a sample for Legionella is confirmed positive steps are taken to regain control. Firstly, the harmful biocide will be neutralised. A thorough review of the system and risk assessment will then be carried out. More frequent samples will be required as part of this. These should be taken as near to the heat source as possible. This will continue until it is established that the system is stable.

Monitoring is only a small part of Legionella risk management that should run alongside systematic assessments, controls and thorough record keeping. For in depth information on your duties under the law visit the Health & Safety Executive website

27 Mar 2013
Advances In Water Treatment Technology Ensure That Cooling Towers Stay Green

Where Are Cooling Towers Used?

Many industrial processes produce excess heat that needs to be dissipated, and this is where cooling towers come in. They remove heat safely and dispel it into the atmosphere.

When you think of cooling towers you may envisage the awesome buildings found in oil refineries, chemical plants and thermal power stations. Some of these are huge hyperboloid structures towering up to 200 meters tall and 100 meters in diameter. These feats of engineering are associated with nuclear power plants and, although this might be what we think of as a cooling tower, the vast majority of them are much smaller. Tiny roof top installations are very common, as are small units attached to buildings to discharge heat from air conditioning.

Cooling Towers And The Environment

Cooling tower technology strives to limit the ammount of energy required to disipate the heat, whilst reducing the volume of water used as much as possible in order to inhibit environmental damage.

As water from the cooling tower evaporates it leaves behind impurities. These build up continually, leading to corrosion and scaling. Some of this water, known as bleed, is sent back to the sewer system. Bleed should be kept to a minimum in order to save water and reduce the chance of harmful chemicals leaking into the environment.

How Has Water Treatment Helped?

The type of water treatment methods selected can make a significant difference here. Corrosion and scale can be kept in check by adding chemicals and biocides to the water in the cooling tower. Bleed is successfully reduced by keeping impurities low. However, the chemicals used may ultimately end up in local eco systems.

Non-traditional methods of water treatment are now available. One of these types is the use of solid chemicals, concentrates are delivered in small 6kg containers and dilutions made up on sites. Thus minimising transportation costs, disposal costs and operating costs all good for the environment together with an excellent health & safety profile.

Further alternative method include; pulsed power method which uses high frequency electrical pulses to break open biosolid cell membranes, Ultrasonic Control which emits frequencies which can rupture different cell walls. Specific ultrasonic vibrations can inhibit bacteria from settling and thus forming a biofilm.

Over the last decade there have been exciting advances in water treatment technology. It is down to our industry in partnership with responsible company leaders to ensure that we continue to provide environmentally friendly water treatment solutions

27 Mar 2013
Why Water Treatment is Needed to Maintain Your Steam Boiler

Steam Boilers And Industry

Production companies use steam boilers to power many industrial processes. The possibilities are endless, so you will come across steam boilers being utilised as a power source in a huge variety of businesses.

Problems arise because harmful materials dissolve readily in the pure water that the system uses. Substances such as carbon dioxide, oxygen and metals are absorbed and water treatment solutions are required to remove them before they cause damage.

What Can Go Wrong With Steam Boilers?

If left unchecked these impurities can lead to many problems:

Scale

This forms during evaporation. Impurities are precipitated out of the water and deposited in the boiler as crystalline and rock like structures. Scale acts as an insulating layer so heat cannot pass through the tubes to the circulating water, as small as an ammount of 1-2mm layer can increase the fuel consumption by upto 11%. Ultimatelt this causes boiler tubes to overheat and fail.

Corrosion

This is one of the most serious problems and is irreversible. Oxygen and carbon dioxide reduce the metal parts of the boiler to iron so that it crumbles leaving holes and weak points in the structure of the boiler.

Boiler Water Carry-over

This is when the steam produced is contaminated by the boiler water. Solids and impurities in the boiler water cause it to foam. This foam is then carried up in the steam. The suspended solids deposit in the condensate and steam system causing it to fail.

Water Treatment Is Vital

It is essential that a good water treatment plan is put in place to remove these impurities. Without one the chemical build up begins to compromise efficiency. More fuel is needed to produce the steam. More water may be needed to compensate for leaks. All this leads to sky rocketing costs. There could also be health and safety risks as chemicals and heat escape where it shouldn't. In extreme cases boilers have been known to explode.

By using a good water treatment plan you can dramatically reduce costs and extend the life of industrial equipment. Strict industrial standards are in place regarding steam boilers and water treatment plays a vital role in maintaining these.

Contact us today to find out more about Steam Boiler Treatment and how we can help.

25 Mar 2013
How to Prevent Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires' disease is an infection of the lung that kills the victim in up to 10-15% of cases. It can occur in any water systems in the UK and around the world. However, as long as the right preventative measures are taken, the risk of infection can be greatly reduced.

Legionnaires' disease is caused by the Legionella bacteria, which poses the greatest risk in artificial water systems such as air conditioning systems, cooling towers, heating systems and even fountains and spas. If the conditions are right, the Legionella bacteria can rapidly multiply and cause an outbreak.

So how should infection be prevented?

Maintain Water Systems Regularly

When water systems are maintained properly, the risk of the Legionella bacteria infection is minimised greatly. There are a number of strict regulations governing water systems, especially larger systems in hotels and hospitals. By sticking to the regulations and checking that they are carried out effectively on a regular basis, prevention becomes a lot easier.

Keep Water at Correct Temperature

One of the most important regulations is that water that is stored in a system is kept at the correct temperature. This should be either below 20°C or above 60°C. If water is kept between these two temperatures then the risk of infection increases.

Control Water Hygiene

It is important to control the hygiene of the water in the system to prevent the spread of the Legionella virus. This involves making sure that the water is not stagnant and that it does not contain any impurities.

Carry Out a Risk Assessment

To minimise the risk posed by the Legionella bacteria, it is a good idea to arrange a regular risk assessment by a specialist water treatment company. This will highlight any risk areas and allow you to make any necessary changes to avoid problems occurring.

Your Responsibility to Prevent Legionnaires' Disease

Whether you are an employer, a landlord or even just a homeowner, you have a duty to reduce the risk of a Legionnaires' disease outbreak by maintaining your water supply correctly.

Legionnaires' disease can kill, but you can reduce your risk of your water system causing an outbreak through careful prevention. If you are in doubt about your obligations and you want to carry out a full risk assessment, contact us today.

25 Mar 2013
How to Choose a Company for Your Water Treatment Solutions

Water treatment companies can help to kill deadly bacteria and save lives. Large establishments should therefore ensure that they have their water systems inspected and treated for Legionella and other bacteria to avoid potential serious issues from arising.

However, how do you choose a treatment company? There are a few factors to consider, and here are a few of the most important.

1. Industry Accreditations

Water treatment is a specialist area, and it is important that your chosen company is fully compliant with all the latest legislation. One thing to look out for is a list of accreditations, which could include:

  • BS EN ISO 9001:2000
  • BS EN ISO 14001:2004
  • RoSPA Membership
  • Legionella Control Association Registration
  • BenchmarQ Customer Satisfaction Survey Certificate

2. Experienced Professionals

The professionals who work at the water treatment company should all be highly experienced. If you are unsure, find out whether they receive regular training and testing to ensure that they are constantly kept up to speed with the latest developments.

3. Wide Range of Programmes

Any water treatment company that you choose, should have a range of different programmes in place to meet your needs. Water safety and water hygiene services could consist of removing scale formation and corrosion from your cooling system, removing bacterial activity from closed water systems, steam boiler treatment, waste water treatment and a range of other treatments.

4. Cost-Effective Solutions

Although the price of the treatment is not the most important factor to consider when choosing a water treatment company, it is still better to find treatments that are not overpriced so that you can take full advantage of all of the crucial treatments at an affordable price.

5. Choose Your Water Treatment Company with Care

Effective water treatment is very important, and could mean the difference between life and death. Make sure that when you are choosing a water treatment company you always base your decision on the above at the very minimum. You will then know that you have an excellent team of top professionals working with you to ensure that your water systems are safe.

To find out more about how Advanced Water Technologies can help you with water treatment, click here to contact usWe look forward to hearing from you.

18 Feb 2013
Higher Standards To Achieve For Bathing Waters

Bathing waters are any body of water that attracts a large number of bathers. It might be along a stretch of beach, or part of an inland picnic area. It could even be a section of water that is part of a tourist related business, like a caravan park or amusement ride area.

In 2012 the government issued a revised Bathing Water Directive with tighter standards and new classifications. The water treatment industry faces the task of meeting the new standards by 2015. This exciting but challenging objective requires extensive resources. For example, in Scotland, which has 83 bathing waters to date, over £100 million has been invested between 2002 and 2010.

What Can Water Treatment Do?

There are several steps Water Treatment companies must take towards improving bathing water.

This includes bacteria, which may be used to break down organic matter such as fats, human metabolic waste or food in a controlled environment within the water treatment site.

If this material is discharged into waters directly, then naturally occurring bacteria will set about breaking it down. Outside of controlled conditions, this process soon uses up all the oxygen in the water leaving dead zones where no wildlife can survive and the eco systems collapse. However, toxicity becomes high which will effect swimmers. The water can also carry pathogens like Noroviruses.

Tertiary UV treatment is another provision applied. This is when filtered water is passed under UV light to remove pathogens, chemicals or nutrients from the bathing water. The UV rays are set to peak at 254 nanometers. This level causes cellular damage to kill micro-organisms. Water treatment may also take steps to reduce discharges from combined sewage overflows.

Changes From The New Bathing Water Directive

The new Bathing Water Directive assesses water quality against just two parameters over a longer time frame to reduce the cost of monitoring. There are four new classifications in place, Excellent, Good, Sufficient and Poor. The Excellent and Sufficient classes are both twice as stringent compared to the old guidelines.

The Bathing Water Directive (76/160/EEC) is a welcome commission. We can all rest assured that it is striving to protect the public from illness and pollution when they swim in public waters.

18 Feb 2013
Nutrient Pollution: Where Are We Now?

Nutrients like phosphate and nitrate are essential to the plants and animals in our rivers. However, when these elements rise above a healthy level they can have a devastating effect on wildlife.

Excessive phosphate requires a massive amount of oxygen to break it down. Oxygen levels in the water become so low that only tough organisms like Diatoms and macrophytes can survive. As a result, overwhelming blooms of algae can occur causing an unsightly green sludge on the water. This endangers more animals, causes unpleasant sights and smells and drives down property value.

Water Treatment and Nutrient Pollution

Water Treatment has a part to play in combating nutrient pollution in UK's rivers and lakes.

However, the problem starts in our businesses and homes. Phosphate is added to laundry detergent and cleaning products to help it remove dirt. The wastewater containing these phosphate rich products then needs to be dealt with through water treatment and when it is not, too many nutrients end up back in the water ways. While some water treatment processes have also added to the problem by using phosphates as part of chemical corrosion and scale control.

The Good News

Over the last 20 years the industry has been working closely with the Environment Agency, which has seen water quality has improved significantly. Water treatment now uses phosphate removal systems which utilise specialist bacteria to absorb phosphates, or chemical precipitation using salts of iron. These processes produce a phosphate rich sludge that can be recycled as fertiliser.

What More Is Being Done?

In terms of overall ecological quality, 26 per cent of rivers are good or better, 60 per cent are moderate, 12 per cent are poor and 2 per cent are bad across England and Wales. This is better than it was, but not perfect. As Wastewater Treatment has done much to reduce its nutrient output, the Environment Agency are now approaching other angles. The current focus is on farming, discharges from septic tanks and feedlots, as well as emissions from combustion.

Awareness is key and can empower us to protect the environment. Zeolite is a naturally occurring alternative to phosphate in cleaning products. This substance is environmentally friendly and does not contribute to nutrient pollution. So look out for this when buying detergent.

We, in the industry, are proud of what we have achieved. By working together to engineer effective solutions we can continue to improve our waterways.

18 Feb 2013
Legionella Risk Assessments: The Process Explained

Who Needs a Risk Assessment?

This is an issue that can affect a surprisingly wide range of companies. Almost any workplace or commercial area could be at risk from Legionella contamination if there are water systems present.

If your premises use cooling towers, hot and cold water systems, spa pools, humidifiers, air washers, emergency showers, eye wash sprays, indoor ornamental fountains or aqueous tunnel washers then you are required by law to carry out a comprehensive Legionella risk assessment.

This legislation is outlined in The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations act of 2002 (COSHH) and the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 (HSWA).

Who Can Carry Out the Risk Assessment for Legionella?

The person or team appointed with this task could be the manager, workers, or a specialist company from outside the business. The main point is that the chosen assessor has the necessary skills, knowledge and experience.

So What are the Risk Factors?

If risk factors are found then you will need to put measures in place to eliminate them. This may mean changing your water system or using a method to control bacteria growth within it.

There is a danger of the bacteria flourishing and spreading if:

  • Water is stored or re-circulated as part of your system.
  • The water temperature is between 20 and 45 degrees celcius.
  • There is rust, sludge, scale and organic matters for the bacteria to feed off.
  • Water droplets are produced, as in the case of showers or cooling towers, that can be spread over a wide area.

What Should the Risk Assessment Look Like?

A good risk assessment should include a description of your system and any sources of risk. It must then state the controls in place. There must also be a clear outline of your monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures along with a record of the dates and results of these. Finally, a review date is essential to accommodate inevitable changes.

Remember, Legionella causes Legionnaires disease which is at best unpleasant and at worst fatal. This is not an issue that can be ignored by responsible business owners.

Contact us today to discuss legionella risk assessments further.

09 Nov 2012
The Danger Posed By the Legionella Bacteria

The Legionella bacteria is found in natural and manmade water systems, but often only in very small numbers. However, if the bacteria multiplies rapidly, it can cause an infection called Legionnaires' disease. It is therefore essential that establishments with water systems at risk from the Legionella bacteria do everything possible to prevent infections from occurring.

Overview of Legionnaires' Disease

Legionnaires' disease is a lung infection that is sometimes fatal. People may become infected when they come into contact with the Legionella bacteria, which can sometimes appear in water systems in buildings.

Symptoms of Legionnaires' disease include a high fever, which can sometimes be over 38°C, headaches, muscle pain, a nasty cough, confusion and even chest pains and diarrhoea.

The treatment for Legionnaires' disease involves a course of antibiotics, often Erythromycin or Clarithromycin. However, in 10-15% of cases where healthy people have become infected, it can lead to death. The number is higher in more vulnerable people including the elderly and people with health conditions such as diabetes.

Larger Water Systems Pose a Greater Risk

The Legionella bacteria is commonly found in natural water sources like lakes, but it can also find its way into artificial water systems if the conditions are right for the bacteria to multiply.

It is typically a more serious problem in larger buildings like hotels and hospitals, which have larger water systems. Regulations are in place to reduce the risk of the spread of the Legionella bacteria, which include keeping the water to below 20°C and above 60°C. Even so, outbreaks still occur and many people die of the infection each year in the UK alone.

Effective Prevention is Essential

Due to the serious risk posed by the Legionella bacteria, it is essential that large establishments ensure that they receive efficient water prevention advice from a specialist. Prevention is always the best plan of action, so establishments should arrange a Legionella risk assessment to find out how much of a risk Legionella poses.

It is never worth taking a risk with something as serious as the Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires' disease. If you want to make sure that your water system is safe, arrange a Legionella risk assessment today.