Each year, between 8,000 and 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease in the U.S., making it a serious health threat. Legionnaires’ disease can have symptoms like many other forms of pneumonia. Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine for legionellosis. However, proper maintenance of water systems using methods such as secondary disinfection can help to prevent Legionella from growing in the first place.
Legionnaires’ disease is caused by a type of bacteria called Legionella. The Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in water. The bacteria grow best in warm water, like the kind found in large plumbing systems, hot water tanks, large plumbing systems, decorative fountains, and hot tubs (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cdc.gov). Another common sources of Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease are cooling towers used in industrial cooling water systems.
The key to preventing legionellosis is maintenance of the water systems in which Legionella grow. Secondary disinfection of water systems in commercial and industrial environments can be very important in that regard.
Consideration should be given to mixed oxidant solutions (MIOX), which have been proven very effective against the build-up of biofouling that forms inside of water system distribution pipelines and that can harbor harmful microorganisms. By eliminating this biofouling, MIOX removes a potential shelter for bacteria in the water supply through its secondary disinfection.
At the same doses and contact times as conventional chlorine, mixed oxidant (MIOX) solution has been shown in numerous laboratory studies to achieve a more thorough and more rapid inactivation of a wider range of microbes, making it an excellent secondary disinfection option.