ECEX Helps Protect Against Legionnaires Disease
Over the last 30 years there has been a series of distressing incidents involving Legionnaires’ disease. These have been costly, both in terms of lives destroyed and finances decimated.
Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, has resulted in manslaughter charges for individuals and companies as well as generating misery for many and tragedy for some.
The pressing need to neutralise legionella pneumophila – the bacterium that causes the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease – is therefore self-evident.
Legionella can lurk in a range of building services equipment including air conditioning cooling towers. The bacteria tend to thrive in lukewarm water where there is stagnation, accumulated rubbish, organic matter, scale and corrosion.
There are accepted practices for mitigating the effects of the bacteria and these include removing storage where the mains supply can match demand, decommissioning and removing redundant tanks and pipework, lining tanks with hand laid GRP for a smooth surface to prevent dirt adhesion and bacterial growth, and general maintenance, repair and refurbishment of tanks.
How can ECEX help?
ECEX’s skilled engineers can offer all these, plus other mechanical services that help save water, including:
- Downsizing tanks to reduce the amount of water stored
- Installation of delayed action float valves to reduce volumes in existing tanks
- Alteration of distribution pipework to create a balanced cross flow
- Isolation of twin tank systems to reduce overall storage
Another way to reduce the opportunities for legionella bacteria growth in cooling towers is to install Air Intake Screens. These are long lasting, purpose-designed filter mesh screens which can be fitted to the external air intakes on cooling towers, condensers, air handling units and chillers.
They prevent particles of airborne debris being drawn into HVAC equipment which can cause filters to clog up and increase airflow resistance. Over time, machinery will become less efficient and, in some cases, the airborne waste can cause failure.
By stopping insects, leaves, pollen and other biological matter from being drawn into the system by employing a filtered mesh, an Air Intake Screen can help prevent bacteria – including legionella – and its food supply from entering the cooling tower’s stored water.
But their benefits don’t end there. Air Intake Screens also diffuse sunlight and therefore help restrict the growth of algae, decreasing the risk of filter clogging and further reducing the need for cleaning and maintenance.
So, the screens increase cooling tower efficiency through improved airflow, inhibition of algae growth and reduced chemical water treatment costs. Indeed, Air Intake Screens have been proven to cut maintenance costs by up to 75%.
Debris build-up on the non-stick, polyester-coated screen surface of Air Intake Screens can simply be washed or brushed away using a soft brush, hose or vacuum. Rainfall will also have a natural cleansing effect too.
So it’s clear that there is more to Air Intake Screens than meets the eye – not only to they prevent the ingress of larger detritus such as leaves, but they also contribute towards the protection against microbial attack.
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