ROXBURY TWP., N.J. — Legionella, the bacteria that causes potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease, and other strains of pathogens that can be hosted by cooling towers, can now be substantially reduced by the development of a new antimicrobial cooling tower introduced by Delta Cooling Towers.

Delta, which manufactures high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic cooling towers, now offers a line of towers constructed of antimicrobial resin that is fully compounded into the base cooling tower material. This antimicrobial resin contains additives that operate on a cellular level to continuously disrupt and prevent uncontrolled growth of microorganisms and biofilm within the cooling tower. Efficacy tests were performed by Special Pathogens Laboratory.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in many of the cases of Legionnaire’s disease outbreaks, Legionella is incubated and spread through building water systems, including the cooling towers that are widely used in commercial building HVAC systems and industrial process cooling. This has recently led to the publication of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.

John Flaherty, president of Delta Cooling Towers, noted that the aforementioned standard and requirements do not significantly detail the maintenance practices necessary to keep water systems, such as cooling towers, healthy. He said that competent maintenance; consistent, top quality water treatment; and accurate monitoring are essential to that effort.

“Without consistent, competent water treatment, the Legionella risk is not completely eliminated, even with the new antimicrobial cooling tower,” Flaherty said. “While cooling tower conditions are often managed by water treatment chemicals, such treatment is sometimes inadequate, and poor piping designs lead to ‘dead legs,’ creating an environment in which pathogens — including Legionella — can thrive.”

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Publication date: 10/26/2016

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