The Legionella Problem
Legionella pneumonia carries a mortality rate of 40% and can be spread in healthcare facilities like hospitals through water supplies. Because of this, hospitals are always looking for the most effective methods for treating their water supply, to ensure their patients are safe and not exposed to harmful waterborne pathogens like Legionella. Studies have found that chlorine dioxide is not only very effective at eliminating Legionella species, but also completely safe below EPA limits.
Legionella bacteria becomes present in water systems because of biofilm building up within the piping systems. This happens in warm water due to low velocity water flow and the piping having areas where the water can become trapped. Many pathogens can be housed in this biofilm, including Legionella. One of the scariest parts of this is that not only can the pathogens be spread through consumption of the water, but they can also be aerosolized and spread through the air, causing pulmonary infections. Washing your hands with contaminated water is also a common method of exposure. Needless to say, with the high mortality rate of Legionella and how easily these pathogens can be spread through untreated water systems, the treatment of hospital water systems is a highly important task.
One issue that comes up when looking to disinfect potable water systems is the need for an EPA-approved system that can eliminate biofilm, has no residual effects or byproducts, won’t damage the piping systems or lab equipment, and above all – is safe for humans. As mentioned above, chlorine dioxide has been shown to meet these requirements through several careful studies.
Why The Johns Hopkins Hospital Chose Chlorine Dioxide
One example of chlorine dioxide working to combat biofilm and control Legionella is at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Johns Hopkins Hospital has been utilizing chlorine dioxide for over 20 years, and published documentation has not indicated any negative side effects or disadvantages. Chlorine dioxide injected into the water system at approved levels has both eliminated biofilm at the hospital, as well as effectively controlled and eliminated Legionella and other waterborne pathogens.
The Johns Hopkins Health System called upon PureLine to provide their chlorine dioxide expertise and systems in what was at the time, a brand new 1.6 million square foot building. PureLine’s systems are developed with state-of-the-art technology, converting 25% sodium chlorite into nearly pure chlorine dioxide, only using one precursor chemical. Since the installation of PureLine’s chlorine dioxide systems, Johns Hopkins has not detected Legionella or any other waterborne pathogens in 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.