Buildings that have high levels of insulation can lead to the legionella thriving. Here, Anthony Barnett, Marketing Manager at Armacell, looks at ways to reduce the risk.
“Legionnaires’ disease is a severe pneumonia caused by the legionella bacterium. People are most commonly infected when they inhale aerosols from a contaminated source. These fine sprays are created by heating and plumbing pipework, air-conditioners, swimming pools and whirlpools.
The bacteria multiplies where the water temperature is between 20-45°C and nutrients are available. As more insulation is incorporated into building designs it can result in cold water pipes warming above 20°C and in these situations legionella is a risk.
When this is combined with extended periods of stagnation it results in optimal conditions for bacteria growth. Traditionally, flushing systems have been used to beat legionella, although this is water intensive and relies on personnel carrying out the task on a regular basis.