Identifying Areas Where Legionella Could Grow & Spread

12 Areas Where Legionella Grows and Spreads.jpgWhere Legionella Can Grow or Spread

Legionella can grow in many parts of building water systems that are continually wet, and certain devices can then spread contaminated water droplets.  Some examples of devices where Legionella can grow and/or spread through aerosolization or aspiration (when water accidentally goes into the lungs while drinking) include: 

  1. Cooling Tower
  2. Decorative Fountain
  3. Ice Machines
  4. Sinks/Showers
  5. Hot Tub
  6. Pool
  7. Water Heaters
  8. Hot Water Storage
  9. Kitchen Appliances
  10. Sanitary Sewer
  11. Municipal Water pipe
  12. Fire Suppression (sprinkler system)

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Factors That Lead to Legionella Growth

A variety of internal and external factors can lead to a Legionella problem in your building, including:

  • Construction
  • Water main breaks
  • Changes in municipal water quality
  • Biofilm
  • Scale and sediment
  • Water temperature fluctuations
  • pH fluctuations
  • Inadequate levels of disinfectant
  • Changes in water pressure
  • Water stagnation

Maintaining and operating your building’s equipment effectively will help prevent biofilm, organic debris, and corrosion from contaminating your water system; all of these provide a habitat and nutrients for Legionella.  Each potentially hazardous condition should be addressed individually with a control point, measure, and limit. 


Healthcare Facilities Think about:

  • Areas where medical procedures may expose patients to water droplets, such as hydrotherapy
  • Areas where patients are more vulnerable to infection, such as bone marrow transplant units, oncology floors, or intensive care units

Related CDC Pages

Posted by Comprehensive Energy Services

Comprehensive Energy Services, Inc. is an award-winning, self performing provider and recognized leader in Design Build and Maintain Mechanical Contracting and Plumbing; providing a full range of advanced HVAC commercial, healthcare, and industrial services, including mechanical engineering design, mechanical construction, plumbing, IAQ, preventative maintenance and system maintenance throughout Florida.

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