Legionella Outbreak Control by Activated Filter Media AFM

AFM has proven to be effective against strains of Legionella, in swimming pools, building water systems and cooling towers; it is a safe and inexpensive method of controlling outbreaks of the disease in conditions where it would otherwise cause devastating effects. Legionella is a highly opportunistic species but with proper water purification techniques and technology, the opportunity is removed.
On October 13th 2016, a client in the United States brought a lawsuit against a juice packaging company called Citrus Systems after a strain of Legionella was confirmed present at one of their production sites in Hopkins, Minnesota. Attorneys for the plaintiff say that their client had become severely sickened while working at a car dealership across the street. The client was later hospitalized and nearly died before it was confirmed he had a severe case of legionellosis, a respiratory condition caused by the bacterium legionella. The Minnesota Department of Health tested the factory cooling towers and confirmed the presence of Legionella.

Legionella colonies thrive in warm water conditions, which translates geographically to the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. This is what makes Legionella such a huge problem for China and the rest of Southeast Asia; the conditions are simply perfect for it. And on a domestic level, the astronomical number of air conditioning units, poorly maintained plumbing systems and inadequate water filtration techniques, further compounds the problem. That is why AFM is such a virtuous innovation, because its simple installation into existing systems has been shown to eradicate a multitude of disease causing elements.

Legionella spreads when the body of water in which it replicates, becomes heated, either naturally or mechanically. Once heated, the water vapor containing the legionella spreads via ambient conditions, which is then inhaled by people in the local vicinity. The legionella settles in the lung tissue and the disease process begins. Legionella can be notoriously difficult to eradicate using conventional cleaning methods due to their ability to form protective elements known as biofilms. These biofilms are made up of organic materials processed and produced by the bacteria that shields it from the surrounding environment. Subsequently, conventional cleaning products and techniques are ineffective once the biofilm has been formed.

Activated Filter Media offers the perfect solution to preventing legionella outbreaks because it prevents the formation of biofilms which leave the bacteria defenceless against purification. One unique property of AFM is the presence of hydroxyl ions on its surface, known as Zeta Potential, which interfere with the organic processes that enable the bacteria to produce biofilms. As stated in the International Journal of Molecular Science, by Abdel-Nour et al, 2013; Preventing biofilm formation is a key strategy for controlling legionella. No biofilm formation means no legionella.

The water in the Citrus Systems Cooling towers in the United States provided a text book environment for legionella and the population’s proximity to the vapours is what led 23 people to become severely sickened, dozens more moderate cases likely unreported,17 hospitalized in critical condition and one death. China, Hong Kong and many parts of Southeast Asia have all the key elements in place for a disastrous outbreak of Legionella. Aqua Solutions Group offers proven solutions, easy installation and a low-cost approach to disease prevention  


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