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What is Biofilm?

Have you ever been hiking and walked across a stream that had rocks or boulders under the water? If you have, then you know that all-too familiar feeling of a slimy consistency that builds up on these rocks. Especially if you have slipped into the stream because of the slippery rocks!

This slick build-up, or slime, on the rock is biofilm! Biofilm is produced by bacteria that attaches to surfaces and produces a polymeric byproduct. This byproduct protects them from a potentially hostile environment.

While biofilm isn’t all to bothersome when it comes to rocks inside of a stream, biofilm does cause problems in everyday life – primarily around water systems.


Biofilm’s Effect on Potable Water Systems

Biofilm causes a number of problems in everyday potable water systems, including water flow restrictions, corrosion, and becoming a household for pathogenic bacteria. Water flow can be hindered through excessive biofilm growth, where the effective area of piping systems can be reduced drastically.

Biofilm’s Effect on Cooling Water Systems

When compared to potable water systems, industrial systems typically have greater nutrient levels which encourages faster biofilm growth! Problems introduced into cooling water systems include restriction in heat transfer, a variety of corrosion problems, and deposit and scale formation which results in health concerns from harbored bacteria.


Legionella Grows in Biofilm

Legionella, like any other bacteria, requires a source of food for it to grow and survive. Biofilm is a perfect harbor for bacteria to feed, grow, and multiply into dangerous quantities. As biofilm builds in building water systems, water flow can cause biofilm to slough off into the system, and the bacteria can spread through piping to end-users.

The best way to stop Legionella from growing and multiplying in water systems is to effectively control biofilm. If biofilm is controlled, bacteria cannot grow and multiply effectively!


Chlorine Dioxide Controls and Remediates Biofilm

Chlorine dioxide is a selective oxidizer that can eliminate biofilm. PureLine specializes in the manufacture and generation of chlorine dioxide through our equipment and pre-cursor chemicals. If you are interested to learn how chlorine dioxide can be used to eliminate biofilm in your water systems, fill out the form below and a PureLine staff would be glad to talk through your business needs.

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