The connection between hard water and Legionella is well known, but often misunderstood. In this blog we focus on how we can better control bacteria levels in water, from the very beginning, in order to reduce the use of aggressive and polluting chemicals to remove bacteria from the water.
Chlorine Dioxide remains the most commonly used biocide to eliminate waterborne bacteria, including Legionella. Its ability to destroy biofilm is a very important part of this chemical. However, the only purpose of Chlorine Dioxide is to control and reduce, not to prevent.
Key to this is understanding the relationship between Limescale, Biofilm and Legionella. In doing this you will be able to reduce the levels of bacteria in your water system. By doing so you will therefore reduce the amount of time and chemicals needed to maintain it.
What is limescale?
Limescale is a hard chalky deposit, containing primarily calcium carbonate (CaCO3). It often builds up inside hot water systems, pipework and appliances.
It can seriously damage and impair the operation of various plumbing and heating components, leading to reduced efficiency and increased running costs of your water-related equipment.
What is Biofilm?
A biofilm is composed of living, reproducing microorganisms, such as bacteria, that exist as a colony, or community.
A biofilm forms when certain microorganisms (for example, some types of bacteria) adhere to the surface of an object in a moist environment and begin to reproduce. The microorganisms form an attachment to the surface of the object by secreting a slimy, glue-like substance.
What is Legionella?
Legionella is a bacterium that can lead to Legionnaires’ disease, a severe and potentially fatal form of pneumonia.
People contract Legionnaires’ disease by inhaling small droplets of water (aerosols), suspended in the air, that contain legionella bacteria. Infection results when these water droplets make their way to the lungs.
What is the Relationship between Limescale, Biofilm and Legionella?
Where limescale has formed, as a result of the minerals in hard water precipitating out and bonding to surfaces, the perfect breeding ground for bacteria exists.
The factors that most encourage the growth of Legionella are temperature and availability of nutrients. Legionella bacteria thrive in temperatures between 20-45°C, and if water is allowed to sit within this range the bacteria can multiply into large numbers. This, coupled with the mineral rich nature of the bacteria’s new home (limescale) acting as such a great source of food, allows the problem to perpetuate.
With the bacteria present and multiplying it will form biofilm. With Limescale and Biofilm now established, in an environment in which it is comfortable and well fed, Legionella and other bacteria will multiply and thrive.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Whilst chemical dosing is effective in most cases it is time consuming, expensive and harmful to the environment. As well as this, the higher the amount of limescale is, the worse the problem becomes.
In order to have a water system that is entirely free from Legionella, you need to ensure that it is both free from limescale (including biofilm) and bacteria. Whether you are treating a cold, hot or process system, it is essential to have a method in place to control scale build-up.
How Can You Fix the Problem?
The Integro, a unique water restructuring technology manufactured by Sidon Water, can certainly help.
Installed on your water supply, it will ensure the removal of all existing limescale throughout your water system. It will also offer complete ongoing prevention, as well as significant reduction of rust and corrosion.
This is achieved because the Integro injects electrons into the water. The electrons disrupt the bonding that would otherwise form between the scale forming minerals. Thanks to this effective system, you can finally mitigate the risks associated with Legionella.
The Integro technology is maintenance and chemical free. This means that it is a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution.
By using this technology, bacteria will significantly be reduced. Also, its breeding ground and source of food (limescale), will be removed from your water. As a result, you will be saving time, money and reducing your chemical use!
Where can I learn more about the Integro?
To understand more about the benefits offered by the Integro you can get in touch with our team at Sidon Water. Ordering and installing the Integro is very simple.
We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and arrange a free water analysis and site survey. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you get better water!