It’s common for public water systems to add chlorine to the water supply. In the right amounts, it helps to kill microorganisms capable of causing life-threatening illnesses from water borne pathogens such as Legionella. But as a result, disinfection byproducts are created when chlorine reacts with organic material naturally occurring in water. As time passes and reactions occur, the volume of byproducts begins to build up.
Some studies of human health effects from exposure to chlorinated water show increased risk of cancer and reproductive and developmental problems. These health effects led the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule (DBPR), which specifies maximum allowable levels and monitoring requirements for disinfectants and disinfectant byproducts.
To ensure that your facility is complying with these regulations and to combat the risk of waterborne pathogens contaminating your water infrastructure, a secondary disinfection system can be implemented to maintain safe water in your building.
Did you know?
A study by Kuchta et. al. found that Legionella bacteria can survive in low levels of chlorine for relatively long periods of time – twice as long as other bacteria like E. coli. In fact, if the chlorine residual in the incoming potable water supply is found to be less than 0.5 ppm, an increased chance of biofilm and Legionella bacteria can be mitigated with the supplemental addition of disinfectant at the building’s entry point.
We can help.
All buildings have unique plumbing distribution systems that contribute to stagnation or dead legs. Chlorine degrades as it reacts with organic material or increased temperatures, then it circulates through a system that has low water usage. This leaves stagnant areas with little to no protection against waterborne pathogens like Legionella. Best practices to minimize stagnation is to implement scheduled flushing protocols of sinks, showers, bathtubs and other water systems. Simply monitoring the water temperature and chlorine levels throughout the buildings piping distribution system will identify areas that need more attention to flushing.
Our water technologist experts can help your facility craft the right plan for your facility, contact us today to get started.