Experts believe that Legionella may be present in 25% of cooling towers at any time, even with normal water treatment programs in place. This could pose a risk to employees and others working near cooling towers, and it could pose a risk to neighboring facilities such as schools, hospitals, public facilities, other businesses, or residential communities. The goal is to reduce the risk of Legionella, more specifically Legionella pnuemophila, which is the bacterium that causes a potentially fatal pneumonia known as Legionenaires’ Disease or legionellosis. Reducing the risk of Legionella requires more than water treatment alone, it requires a strategic plan based on recommended industry best practices that considers the mechanical, operational, and chemical control of cooling water systems. Implementing a corporate wide policy for Legionella risk reduction is challenging for waste-to-energy facility cooling towers. While a corporate policy for managing the risk due to Legionella is prudent, application of such a policy should not be wholly applied across all facilities or plant locations because not all water systems are equal or operated the same. Implementation starts with a plan that involves a multidisciplinary team including third party consultation and expertise. The first step of the Legionella risk reduction strategy is to evaluate current equipment and practices at each plant through a risk assessment process. The second step is to prepare a written Management Plan based on the risk assessment that clearly details risk reduction practices. The third step is to implement the management plan and monitor the system to ensure practices remain effective. And finally, all documentation should be periodically reviewed and adjustments made as necessary. This presentation will describe a process for implementing a corporate Legionella risk reduction policy, and it will highlight some of the major experiences learned.
- Environmental Engineering Division and Solid Waste Processing Division
Implementing and Managing a Practical Corporate Wide Legionella Risk Reduction Strategy for Industrial Water Systems
Myers, ER, & Lehr, J. "Implementing and Managing a Practical Corporate Wide Legionella Risk Reduction Strategy for Industrial Water Systems." Proceedings of the 15th Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference. 15th Annual North American Waste-to-Energy Conference. Miami, Florida, USA. May 21–23, 2007. pp. 177-181. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/NAWTEC15-3217
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