Risk Management Programs
Our focus is educating and assisting our clients to minimize the risk for Legionella bacteria in their cooling water systems by recommending the implementation of best practices based upon industry standard guidelines.
What is Legionella?
Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ Disease, a deadly respiratory infection that leads to severe pneumonia-like symptoms. Commonly found in stagnant water at temperatures between 20°- 50°C (68º – 122º F), it thrives in biofilm, scale, and sediment.
Legionella can survive chlorinated potable water by living in certain amoeba and ciliated protozoa, allowing them to appear in finished water supplies to homes, buildings and industrial sites.
Legionella In Buildings
The most common outbreaks of Legionella have occurred in buildings and facilities with mismanaged systems. Areas in buildings where the bacteria thrive are:
- Cooling towers on roofs where standing water is common
- Whirlpool bathtubs, hot tubs, and public spas where water and fouling can occur in system pipes
- Plumbing systems from water heaters to faucets and showerheads
- HVAC systems where water condensation can collect and pool
After a long closure due to the pandemic, an indoor public ice rink in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, Canada, experienced a potential legionella outbreak.
Minimizing the Risk of Legionella
The water treatment objectives are to prevent corrosion, scale deposits, pipe fouling, and microbiological control.
- Biocide treatments play an important role in microbiological control programs
- Bio-dispersants loosen microbial deposits, promote system cleanliness and penetrate biofilm
- An annual/bi-annual cooling tower disinfection procedure is recommended to promote system cleanliness and disease prevention
Pace Legionella Policy Guideline “Legionella Risk Management of Cooling Water Systems” covers:
Since there is no guarantee to eliminate the health risk associated with Legionella bacteria or any potential outbreaks in cooling water systems, our primary focus is to educate and help our clients minimize the risk for Legionella in their cooling water system(s) by recommending they implement all best practices, many which are outlined in our Pace Legionella Policy Guideline. Examples of topics covered in our policy include:
- Recommended best practices to minimize risk
- Legionella background and general facts
- Routine cleaning and disinfection procedure
- Water treatment program parameters
- Maintenance inspections
- Legionella testing
- Decontamination procedure
- Legionella publications and resources
If you would like more information on how to implement the Pace Legionella Policy Guideline for your cooling tower management plan, please contact us at the Pace Legionella Team.
Testing for Legionella
As per the Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) Document MD 15161 2013, Pace recommends that Legionella sampling and testing should be done monthly on cooling tower systems, or more frequently if the weekly TBC bacterial counts are excessively high or if heavy biofouling is evident in the cooling tower system. Pace utilizes an independent CALA Accredited and CDC Elite Certified Laboratories for Legionella Analysis using ISO 11731 methodology for culture testing method.
Pace Solutions also provides rapid on-site DNA detection of Legionella bacteria. This testing service will provide highly accurate qPCR analysis in 45 minutes, compared to waiting weeks with the standard culture test method. Unlike lab-based qPCR methods, this proprietary technology detects live and not dead bacteria, utilizing a test method that is validated according to ISO 12869. This DNA-based diagnostic technique allows Pace to provide their clients with;
- Fast (<1 hour) and accurate detection of Legionella on site
- Immediate validation of Legionella remediation effectiveness
- Immediate validation of Legionella risk management program
- Preventing & addressing potential Legionella outbreaks before they occur at your site
- An additional testing method to be used in parallel with your existing testing method to provide the most comprehensive prevention program
For more information on how Pace can implement DNA detection of Legionella at your site(s), contact the Pace Legionella Team.
Let Pace Manage Your Cooling Tower Operating Permit, Legionella Testing and EOCP Certification!
Developing a Water Management Plan (WMP)
We will help you create and implement a compliant, comprehensive, and defensible Legionella WMP. Then we’ll provide support and service for ongoing compliance. The Pace WMP and service will:
- Identify the internal water management plan team
- Conduct site surveys
- Generate system descriptions & flow diagrams
- Establish control measures, monitoring limits and corrective actions
- Verification procedures
- Validation methods
- Create a legionnaires outbreak response plan
- Continued and professional communication to the customer
Pace has also partnered with HC Info which provides a cloud-based application (LAMPS) for water management plans, analytics, and training. LAMPS is used to minimize the risk of disease caused by Legionella and other harmful bacteria emitted from water systems in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, and other large buildings. Pace customers receive a partner code discount from HC Info for their LAMPS Water Management Plans.