What is Legionella?

We often get the question ‘What’s legionella?’. Well, in this article you discover what is legionella, how spread is caused and how you can control the spread of this bacteria.

Legionella is a bacteria that commonly grows in environmental water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs. Water with a temperature between 20 and 50 degrees Celsius as well as biofilm and stagnant water are the ideal circumstances for the growth of the Legionella bacteria.

There are 52 known kinds of the legionella bacteria identified. Most infections are caused by the Legionella Pneumophila. When infected with the Legionella bacteria, it is possible to get legionnaires disease.

What is legionnaires desease?

Legionnaires disease is a pneumonia you possibly get after infection with the legionella bacteria. In pneumonia, the smaller airways and alveoli are inflamed. A pneumonia can be caused by several viruses or other bacteria. However, a pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria can be a lot more serious.

What causes legionella disease?

If the water that is infected with the legionella bacteria nebulizes into the air, the bacteria is breathable. Once the contaminated droplets of water (aerosols) are being inhaled deep into the lungs, the legionella disease or legionnaires disease can be contracted.

How aerosols are spread

Aerosols are released by spraying water, such as showers, fountains, humidifiers, air-conditioners and whirlpools. Drinking contaminated water isn’t a factor of infection of the Legionnaires disease. Also, person-to-person spread has not been documented yet.legionella bacteria, legionella, legionnaires disease

High risk of legionella infection

Most people won’t get ill after infected with the legionella bacteria. But there is a group with a high risk on pneumonia. Such as people over 60 years old, people that smoke, are in bad health or use medicines that weaken the immune system.

Locations with a higher risk on legionella

Locations that have a high level of risk on legionella contamination are so called Priority Locations. Such as, healthcare institutions and hospitals, public swimming pools, hotels, holiday parks, campings, prisons, harbours or gas stations. These locations are legally required to conduct a legionella control, prevention check or assessment to identify potential issues to keep guests, clients and employees safe. These guidelines are originated of the policy of the Dutch government.

Legionella control: stop the spread of the bacteria

To control legionella spread we advise to make use of legionella filters in water installations. The unique PB self-cleaning filters remove the Legionella bacteria mechanically, without chemicals. The PB-filter elements gives the best possible control and protection against infection from the Legionella bacteria.

Legionella filters by PB

PB offers durable, simple and high-quality legionella filters for optimal legionella prevention. At PB we use ultrafiltration technology. Ultrafiltration is a technique in which all suspended particles (included the legionella bacteria) larger than 0.02 microns are filtered from the water by membrane filtration.

Ultrafiltration most effective on legionella control

Ultrafiltration is most effective in the prevention of legionella because bacteria that do not enter the system cannot harm and do not need to be eliminated in a later stadium. When the legionella bacteria is filtered with ultrafiltration, the growth of biofilm (the slime layer that is created by legionella) will also reduce. This results in that circumstances for growth of the legionella bacteria are less favorable.

In addition to these benefits, ultrafiltration also captures the particles that can pollute the pipework or feed bacteria. Ultrafiltration ensures that no additional chemicals or other substances need to be added to the water.

Water purification using ultrafiltration is the most effective and sustainable way of water filtration. Ultrafiltration filters from PB are a great way to control and prevent the growth and spread of the legionella bacteria.

Point of Entry, Point of Use filters and filtering modules

At PB you’ll find legionella filters for your entire water system (point of entry) and for the point of use. When choosing for a filter for your entire water system, we will install filters that control and prevent the access of the legionella bacteria into your system at the point of entry.

If you choose for a point of use legionella filter, we install several filters on tap points. These filters will ensure that bacteria are filtered directly before use. Both varieties can be found in the assortment of PB in the form of Point of Entry, Point of Use filters and several filtering modules.

Do you want to know more about legionella control?

Do you want to know more about the legionella filtration and control processes PB provides? Or are you looking for specific information about stopping the spread of (any) bacteria in your water installation? Contact one of our advisers by calling +31(0314) 621 465 or by emailing to info@pb-international.com. You can expect a suitable answer to your question within a few working days!

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