An estimated 10 to 15 thousand people develop Legionnaries’ disease in the United States each year and sadly, 5 to 15% of these cases prove to be fatal. Outbreaks are often associated with large or complex water systems that are used in most hospitals. Some of the most likely sources of infection include water used for showering (potable water), cooling towers (part of a large air conditioning systems) and hot water tanks, all of which can be found in hospitals.
The conditions within these water systems lead to this disease: water temperature, pipe configuration and age of the hot water tank, and plumbing materials. Most often, inhaling water contaminated with Legionella pheumophila causes Legionaries’ disease. With lives at risk the prevention of Legionnaries’ disease is absolutely critical in both saving lives and keeping hospitals open for people in need.
Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease
Since the source of this disease can be found in a hospital’s water system – what are ways to prevent the bacteria from the contaminated the water? Pipelining is an effective technology that can prevent these harmful bacteria from leaching into the water system.
Creating a barrier between the existing pipe and the water flowing within can stop bacteria from spreading. Typically the process starts with the pipe system being drained of all water. The inspection and cleaning takes place before a two-part red epoxy is distributed through the pipes by air. This red epoxy coats the inner walls and protects water against contaminates from entering into the stream. These potable epoxies need to be certified for drinking water in addition to NSF standards. Here at Nu Flow Technologies our potable lining product called Nu Line is compliment with NSF/ANSI Standard 61 for safe use in drinking water pipes, Water Drinking Act – ANSI/NSF 372, in addition to several other certifications.
Pipelining a hospital’s water system is particularly advantageous because the lining process is significantly less disruptive while also providing a way to contain the bacteria or other contaminants from spreading throughout the hospital. With any pipelining job, especially a lining job for a hospital, there needs to be a clear and concise planning processes that prepares all parties for the job. It’s also important to note that the pipe maintenance process must follow guidelines from the Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA).