What is Legionella?

What is Legionella?

Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by Legionella bacteria including the most serious Legionnaires disease, a rare, but severe form of lung infection.

Legionella ControlLegionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems, but usually in low numbers. Outbreaks of the illness occur from exposure to Legionella growing in purpose built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth.

The two things that Legionella bacteria need to grow and spread are:

  • A water temperature of +20°C to +45°C
  • A source of food within the water – such as rust, algae or lime scale

In these favourable conditions, bacteria will grow increasing the risk of Legionnaires. It is therefore very important to control the risks by introducing appropriate measures.

How is Legionella Contracted?

Although it is possible to contract Legionnaire’s disease from home plumbing systems, this is very rare. Most outbreaks occur in large buildings, such as hotels, hospitals, museums and office blocks due to larger, more complex water supply systems in which bacteria can quickly spread.

shower with flowing water and steamLegionnaire’s disease is caused by Legionella bacteria infecting your lungs. Most people become infected when they inhale small water droplets containing the Legionella bacteria. This could occur from something as simple as water spray from a shower.

Outbreaks are commonly linked with the following sources:

  • Hot tubs and whirlpools
  • Cooling towers in air conditioning systems
  • Decorative fountains
  • Swimming pools
  • Water systems in hotels, hospitals and nursing homes

How can trace heating help to disinfect against Legionella?

A single pipe distribution system with electric trace heating can avoid the problems of balancing a hot water service circulation system and ensure that the minimum temperature is maintained throughout the system.

Hot water temperature maintenance trace heating ensures hot water at the point of use, whilst reducing the power consumption and water wastage, as well as offering the option to disinfect periodically against Legionella.

The temperature of hot water cools rapidly when subjected to lower ambient temperatures and under no-flow conditions. By installing hot water temperature maintenance trace heating, under thermal insulation, the hot water in the pipework can be maintained above its minimum required temperature, usually +55°C or +65°C.

ESH hot water heating tape

Our hot water temperature maintenance heating cable is a parallel resistance, cut to length on site, self regulating heating cable designed to compensate for heat loss for hot water distribution systems, as well as offering the option to disinfect periodically against Legionella.

Where applicable the water temperature can be reduced by a thermostatic mixing valve (TMV) to meet the current building regulations.

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Buy trace heating online – www.traceheatingdirect.com

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