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Christoph Lohr

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Articles written by Christoph

Ready to Reopen Your Building? Consider this Water Filtration System

When buildings are vacant or operating at reduced capacity for long periods of time, the water that would flow normally is left sitting stagnant in the pipes. Disease-causing microorganisms, like legionella that causes Legionnaires’ disease, can begin to grow. If using oxidizing disinfectants such as chlorine and chloramines, these disinfectants will tend to dissipate. As we approach reactivating the economy and bringing buildings back online, some of the risks associated are not only about the growth in the distribution system but also any particulate and changes in the distribution system. This would lead to an increase in sediment, corrosion, particulate and biomass coming in through the mains, all of which can cause bacterial amplification and thus potentially lead to waterborne pathogen outbreaks. Stagnant Water = Increases in Sediment Discoloration As we’re trying to limit the business interruption to bring these buildings back online, we’re already seeing increases in brown water events, wholescale discoloration events and increases in the amount of microbiological activity coming into the distribution system because sediment and particulate are food and housing for bacteria. In sediment removal and corrosion, particulate material removal from the incoming water is a significant issue that these particulates lend themselves to the…

It may not be safe to return to the office—but not for the reason you think

An unintended hazard lies in wait for tenants of shuttered buildings poised to reopen in coming weeks: potentially harmful microbes in stagnant water systems. A unique and unintended health hazard lies in wait for tenants of shuttered commercial buildings poised to reopen in the coming weeks: potentially harmful microbes in stagnant water systems.  Because of stay-at-home orders, building water systems and the municipal supply lines that feed them have experienced dramatically reduced flow, even total stagnation, as the offices, hotels, retail stores and other public spaces they service have been left vacant for months. Public health officials and plumbing experts know this is a recipe for dangerous, perhaps deadly bacterial amplification such as Legionella pneumophila, the microbe that causes Legionnaires’ disease. An almost annual outbreak already infects pockets of New York city’s cooling towers during summer months. This year, with millions of square feet of normally busy commercial space idle, creating the perfect breeding ground for waterborne microbes, the threat is exponentially worse. Building owners and managers must take the issue seriously. The science behind the phenomenon is well documented. Water systems in New York and other big cities, including Chicago, were designed for increasing volumes based on projected population growth trends. Drinking water disinfectants, such as chlorine, depend on system-design calculated flows, which include a short time to consumption in order to be effective. A near-overnight shutdown of water flow in large buildings has increased “water age,” allowing chlorine and chloramine disinfectant levels to dissipate, thus causing a systemic failure of a building’s entire water network. Even if individual owners attempt to do the right thing by flushing systems, there is no…

COVID-19 Water Preparedness

Don’t let one crisis lead to another: what is your COVID-19 Water Preparedness Strategy?

The ongoing pandemic with COVID-19, caused by coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has caused an initial shock for many businesses. Building occupancy for hospitality and office spaces is plummeting as society is forced to face the difficult, but essential need for social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19. Now that the initial shock is over, however, building owners need to think ahead and create a crisis-management system.  A very important element of this crisis-management system needs to take into account what COVID-19 means to building water health and the potential unintended consequences this crisis has created by shutting down entire floors, wings, etc. and having water systems be underutilized. While it is not easy to raise another alarm, it is necessary to understand the situation can unintentionally, yet exponentially, increase the risk for Legionella amplification, not to mention other waterborne pathogens.  When facilities become unoccupied, their plumbing water systems become unused. These under-utilized and stagnate water systems are prone to incubate and harbor Legionella (and other waterborne pathogens) as disinfectants like chlorine and chloramines break down and fail to provide persistent disinfection. Here are some items for your consideration: Have you attempted to isolate parts of your building into occupied areas and non-occupied areas? If…

Hospitality - Water Treatment

New Opportunities for Hospitality – and the U.S.

“We sometimes underestimate the influence of the little things.” – Charles W. Chesnutt It is incredible to think that something as small as a virus has shut down much of the world economy, particularly the free movement of people for business or recreation. Reading through industry news, most events through April/May have been cancelled and along with  business trips. Additionally, in an effort to be cautious and to #flattenthecurve, many hotels have decided to temporarily suspend operations. The result is that many hotels will be sitting vacant for at least the next month. This unfortunately leads to numerous unintended consequences, most notably that chemical disinfectant (e.g. chlorines and chloramines) will dissolve into the water and waterborne pathogens, like legionella, will flourish. Humans being, as innovative as we are, are already working on solutions – mostly in the realm of enhancing water management program (WMP) activities such as flushing and monitoring. While these are certainly good activities, I’d like to challenge us all to reevaluate our model – specifically the focus on chlorine and chloramines, which I will name the “Chlorine Model”. Chlorine, Chloramines, DBPs, WMPs, and Flushing To start, let’s ask this question: Why do so many WMP’s focus so much on…

Photo of LiquiTech's Copper Silver Ionization system

Top 5 Long-Term Benefits of Copper Silver Ionization (CSI) Technology

Copper silver ionization gives you the ease of knowing that your water system is completely purified and protected with minimal maintenance from you. Copper silver ionization compared to other disinfection methods such as hyperchlorination, thermal eradication, ozone disinfection, and ultraviolet radiation, has continuously proven to outperform every other method in safety, effectivity, longevity, and reliability. Here are five long-term benefits of utilizing copper silver ionization as opposed to other disinfection methods.

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