Healthcare institutions have prevention and control measures available to reduce the risk of hospital associated infection related to Legionella and other water borne pathogens in potable water systems. With mortality of nosocomial Legionella pneumonia being reported as up to 40%, many healthcare organizations are looking to improve current potable water treatment practices in order to best serve patients. PureLine’s Chlorine Dioxide solutions treat potable water systems and eliminate bacteria such as Legionella with unparalleled effectiveness, creating a safe environment for both staff and patients.
How Does Legionella Bacteria Infect Potable Water Systems?
This is mainly due to biofilm growing and building up within the existing piping systems. Biofilm grows in warm water due to low velocity water flow conditions and piping systems having “dead legs” where water can be trapped. Biofilm is a mucus/slime layer found on the insides of pipes, comprised of secretions from microorganisms which can house many pathogens, including harmful pathogens. Bacteria such as Legionella collect and reproduce in this biofilm layer. The rougher the surface of the inside piping (e.g. calcium carbonate deposits) the greater the opportunity for biofilm and microbes to form.
These pathogens in the biofilm can replicate and break off the inside wall of the pipe and travel through the piping system to distal plumbing sites. Faucets and showerheads can aerosolize the water which can be aspirated and can cause pulmonary infections. A staff member or patient washing their hands to eliminate bacteria may come in contact with bacteria with the water they use to wash their hands.
What to Look for When Identifying a Disinfection System?
When looking at available systems to disinfect hot and cold potable water systems, the healthcare organization should always require an EPA-approved disinfection method. Beyond any EPA-approved method, organizations should look at the method’s impact on biofilm, residual effect, by-products, environmental and health effects, impact on equipment and piping, impact on dialysis and laboratory equipment impact on organoleptic properties of treated water.
A potable water disinfection method must be safe for patients, visitors, and staff. It should control and eliminate Legionella, other water borne pathogens, and eliminate biofilm. Lastly, the solution should have no impact on dialysis filtration equipment, laboratory filtration equipment, corrosion rates, or mechanical equipment and systems.
Chlorine Dioxide Has Demonstrated Success in Controlling Waterborne Pathogens
There has been extensive research of existing methods for controlling Legionella. Comparison of disinfecting methods demonstrate that chlorine dioxide (ClO2), which is approved by the EPA for use as a potable water disinfectant under CFR Part 141 – National Primary Drinking Water Regulations, is the optimal choice. Chlorine dioxide comes out being most effective without human side effects along with a minimal impact to piping systems related to corrosion.
Data indicates that chlorine dioxide is effective in the short and long-term at reducing and eliminating Legionella and other water borne pathogen colonization in healthcare potable water systems. Chlorine dioxide also prevents hospital acquired Legionellosis in high risk populations.
PureLine’s Chlorine Dioxide Systems Achieving Success at The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Chlorine dioxide has been effectively used by The Johns Hopkins Hospital for approximately 20 years. Published documentation has not indicated any side effects or disadvantages, and chlorine dioxide has been found to be very effective at controlling and eliminating Legionella and other waterborne pathogens. It has successfully eliminated biofilm within piping at Johns Hopkins, has no impact on dialysis filtration equipment with proper carbon filtration, no impact on laboratory filtration equipment with proper carbon filtration, no impact on corrosion rates, and no impact on mechanical equipment and systems.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital installed PureLine’s chlorine dioxide systems over eight years ago in their (at the time) new 1.6 million square foot building. PureLine’s chlorine dioxide system is developed using state-of-the-art generation technology, converting 25% sodium chlorite into nearly pure chlorine dioxide by utilization of EPA recognized water disinfection methods. In the time PureLine’s chlorine dioxide system has been installed at Johns Hopkins, Legionella and other waterborne pathogens have not been detected in over eight years of operation at the hospital. The chlorine dioxide systems continue to control and eliminate Legionella and other waterborne pathogens and eliminate biofilm, providing safe, usable water for staff and patients to use at the hospital.
If you would like to learn more about how PureLine’s Chlorine Dioxide solutions can be used to maintain controlled potable water systems, please contact PureLine using the form below.
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With over 20 years of experience in the manufacture, generation, and application of chlorine dioxide solutions, PureLine specializes in designing and implementing chlorine dioxide treatment solutions utilizing our broad line of proven chlorine dioxide generators and chemical solutions to control and inhibit the growth of mold, mildew, and odor causing bacteria.