What Causes Legionella In Water
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- What Causes Legionella In Water, Legionella and Water Supply Systems, What is Legionella, What Causes Legionella, How It Spreads
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What causes Legionella in water? This article looks at the dangers and causes of Legionella in your water systems. Find out how you can prevent Legionella in your water.
Legionella and Water Supply Systems
When you turn on a tap, it's fair to say that you expect clean and safe water. The issue can be that potable and non-potable water supply systems can be difficult to maintain and keep safe.
The infrastructure of the underground water supply systems becomes outdated as they age; this is due to the newer water systems and the lower flow rates that keep water in the pipes for a longer period of time.
The primary cause of these waterborne diseases is OPPPs (opportunistic premise plumbing pathogens). These are waterborne microorganisms that normally inhabit premise plumbing. Water supply systems should be tested for Legionella growth on a monthly basis.
The tests should consist of checking the water flow and returning temperatures at water heaters. A way of doing this testing is using a surface temperature probe, and the outgoing water has to be at least 60 Â°C for it to kill off the Legionella bacteria. So controlling temperature is the primary method of controlling the risk of Legionella.
Preventing contamination in the water supply systems from the Legionella bacteria can be a difficult task. The best way to deal with the problem and reduce the risk is to design, implement, and update a safety plan for the entire building water system.
How It Spreads
Once Legionella has grown and multiplied in the water system, the water containing Legionella can spread through small droplets that people can breathe them in. When people breathe these droplets in, this can cause them to develop Legionnaires disease.
A less common way that people can get sick is through the aspiration of drinking water; this can happen when accidentally allowing water into the lungs while drinking water. This can be a bigger risk for people who have conditions that cause swallowing difficulties.
Legionnaires disease doesn't usually get spread from person to person, it may be possible, but this is an extremely rare occurrence.
Talking to your doctor is important if you are believed to have been exposed to Legionella.
There is also a potential of getting Legionnaires disease from the Legionella bacteria forming and growing in an air conditioning unit, although there are air conditioning units that do not use water to cool the air and therefore don't pose a threat of the bacteria forming.
It is important to remember that places like ponds, lakes and rivers do not pose a threat of contracting the bacteria.
Other issues may occur when facing similar issues; this includes the contraction of the bacteria and its forming into Pontiac fever. The most common way of getting Pontiac fever is because of a Legionella infection. Pontiac fever is similar to severe flu.
Who is at Increased Risk
When a healthy person is exposed to the bacteria, they are less likely to get sick from it. There are some circumstances where people can be considered at a higher risk of getting sick from Legionella. Legionnaires disease can be life-threatening and dangerous, and people who are at risk should take serious care and contact health professionals if concerned.
People who are aged 50 and older can be considered an increased risk. Other people include current or former smokers, a person with chronic respiratory disease, a person with a weakened immune system, people who take drugs that weaken the immune system, a person with cancer, and other underlying illnesses including diabetes, liver failure or kidney disease.
People with a higher risk of contracting the bacteria need to take extra precautions. Another high-risk person would be somebody who has recently gone through an organ transplant procedure. Taking care to prevent Legionella from spreading and growing should be a high priority, especially in a household with high-risk people.
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