Prevent Legionnaires This Summer
June marks the anniversary of the widespread legionnaires’ outbreak which affected 50 people throughout Edinburgh hospitals in 2012.To prevent a disaster of this nature happening again, ECEX, sole UK distributors of Air Intake Screens, as manufactured by Air Solutions Company USA, which can help minimise the risk of legionnaires, urges those responsible for cooling towers, and other HVAC equipment, to take appropriate steps in order to stop this potentially fatal disease in its tracks.
According to the HSE, 90% of outbreaks have their root causes in failures to identify risk or to put in place effective schemes of control to deal with these risks.
These risks are most commonly caused by the following scenarios:
- Departures from planned maintenance and cleaning schedules
- Changes in process, affecting the risk or rendering existing precautions ineffective
- Staff contractor changes
- Intermittent use of plant
- Unusual weather conditions – a particular risk if we get a very hot spell
In the first instance, a vigilant and consistent maintenance programme is essential. By installing Air Intake Screens, which prevent airborne debris from effecting the efficiency of HVAC equipment and improve laminar airflow, diffusing air across the inlet which enhances cooling properties, an inhospitable environment for the legionella bacteria is created. The key benefit of Air Intake Screens for those responsible for maintenance is that this task can be reduced by up to 75%. This is due to the fact that the need for chemical water treatment is reduced, clogging of strainers and fill components is minimised and cooling tower contamination is stopped before airborne particulates and micro-biological debris can enter the system. The Air Intake Screen also diffuses sunlight to help restrict algae growth. When it comes to legionnaire’s disease, prevention is definitely better than cure and by taking the appropriate steps to stop an outbreak in the first place, infection risk and maintenance costs can be reduced through an effective maintenance programme and specialist filtration equipment. Beyond the Air Intake Screen, ECEX also deliver a range of legionella prevention services in conjunction with water storage tanks:
- Downsizing tanks to reduce the amount of water stored
- Installation of delayed action float valves to reduce volumes in existing tanks
- Removal of storage where mains supply can match demand
- Full repair and refurbishment of all tank types
- Tank lining using hand laid GRP
- Alteration of distribution pipework to create a balanced cross flow
- Isolation of twin tank systems to reduce overall storage
- Decommissioning and removal of redundant tanks including all associated pipework etc.
All work is carried out in full compliance with Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, and the HSE ‘L8′ ACOP. For more information, visit: http://www.airintakescreens.co.uk/ – Ends –
Notes to editors: Air intake screens: Designed to fit to the external air intakes on AHUs (air handling units), chillers, condensers and cooling towers, ECEX’s air intake screens are manufactured using highly engineered filter screen mesh that prevents airborne debris from entering an intake system. With a factory warranty of between 5 and 15 years, depending on the grade, these long-lasting filter screens will deliver a serviceable life span of much more. Cleaned easily using a soft brush, hose or vacuum, Air Intake Screens extend the life of perishable internal filters and prevent coils from becoming clogged; all whilst maintaining excellent airflow. Suitable for preventing leaves, pollen, grit and many other airborne particulates, Air Intake Screens are made-to-measure in a variety of filter mesh grades, so they’ll fit perfectly to any plant, whatever the application.
About ECEX: ECEX is a multi-specialist engineering contractor offering a wide range of access safety and metalwork, bespoke fabrication, mechanical services and energy saving initiatives, including air intake screens. Based just off the M4 in Newbury, ECEX has a wealth of experience in a wide range of buildings, including data centres, major sports stadia, commercial offices and National landmarks like the Royal Albert Hall. www.ecex.co.uk