Frequently Asked Questions
Browse through the most common questions we receive.
Legionella can grow in many parts of building water systems, and water-using devices can then spread contaminated water droplets, including hot and cold water storage tanks, water heaters, expansion tanks, aerators, showerheads, eye wash stations, ice machines, hot tubs, decorative fountains and cooling towers.
Municipal water is transported through a large and aging infrastructure, which can alter water quality dynamically and unpredictably. Variations can be caused by changes in source water; seasonal events such as heavy rains; infrastructure age; hydrant use; and degradation due to time, distance, temperature and other environmental factors. These variations result in sediment and biofilm entering building water systems, which can cause large increases in operating costs related to your water infrastructure, long and short term damage to water-using equipment and increased risk of bacteria. Systemic sediment control can be achieved effectively through point-of-entry filtration.
The point-of-entry system is used for controlling sediment, dirt and corrosion particulate, which causes variability and can negatively affect disinfection levels and decreases the life of your plumbing system and other water using equipment.
Yes, it can, including on cooling towers.
It is true that most forms of filtration have been proven to be very costly due to the high cost of consumables or wastewater production, as well as increasing risk from bacterial growth in the filter. Our filtration technology has mitigated these concerns. With no consumable media, an efficient hydraulic self-cleaning process, and a quick contaminant residence time, we can ensure effective filtration minimizes risk, with minimal maintenance or operational expenditure.
UV disinfection is a broad spectrum non-chemical disinfection technology. UV disinfection is generated in special UV lamps. A watertight quartz tube surrounds each lamp. The liquid to be disinfected is passed through the quartz tubing. The gas plasma generated in the lamp emits intensive UV light, which changes the DNA of the microorganisms. The cell is unable to divide and reproduce, thus rendering it inactive. UV addresses bacteria, viruses, yeasts and molds.
UV is most effective at the point of entry, but it can be applied to branches, or other areas of a facility.
Copper Silver Ionization
Copper Silver Ionization is an electrolysis process which introduces positively charged copper and silver ions into the water supply as current is applied across copper and silver electrodes. The positive ions bind to the negative cell walls of bacteria, which causes the proteins in the cell wall to break down, effectively killing the cell.
Copper Silver Ionization is effective in both hot and cold water, unlike chemical technologies whose disinfectant rapidly dissipates in hot water environments, rendering them ineffective. It is the only state and federal EPA-registered (EPA reg. number 68250-1) technology for eradicating Legionella in drinking water. Copper Silver Ionization requires no chemicals and introduces no dangerous disinfection byproducts. There are no consumables that are unsafe for handling. The ions introduced into the water supply are safe for human consumption, and do not damage the plumbing infrastructure.
One of the most notable differences between LiquiTech and other Copper Silver Ionization systems is our proprietary closed-loop proportional control. LiquiTech is able to gauge the amount of water being used at any given time by a facility by the use of a flow meter, which allows our system to properly dose the water with ions so no over or under treatment occurs.
No level of pH has hindered the efficacy of any LiquiTech system in our 25 years of experience. We have successfully treated water with pH above nine without complications.
Chlorine is a gas that has limited life. It interacts with organic and inorganic compounds in the water causing it to rapidly decompose. This decomposition creates cancer causing disinfection byproducts. The EPA sets a maximum allowable dose of chlorine into the water as to limit the amount of byproducts. This in itself means that chlorine cannot provide the dose needed within EPA allowable levels to address most pathogenic bacteria like Pseudomonas, Legionella, Mycobacteria, etc. Many studies have also indicated that chlorine is corrosive to pipes.
A hot water loop circulates at 140 degrees, which reduces a facility’s total pathogen content within that loop. However, water cannot be distributed at the 140-degree temperature because of the risk of scalding. The hot water loop is effective in ridding your system’s water of bacteria while the water is in that loop, but the water must be cooled prior to delivery to distal sites. It’s in this stage that the hot water mixes with untreated cold water and creates the ideal environment for bacteria to grow just before that water is delivered for use.
No process can ensure 100% removal of potential risk through secondary disinfection, so a multi-barrier approach is required to ensure water security all the way to the point of use. Point-of-use filtration is a final barrier to prevent harmful pathogens from coming in contact with users, and is particularly important for protecting those who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed.
Our filters are not susceptible to breaching when the cartridge becomes plugged with bacteria-laden sediment – all of the bacteria will stay contained in the filter, preventing contamination.
If you are a healthcare organization, the CDC strongly suggests testing for Legionella, both in your environment and in patients with pneumonia. The symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease are identical to a classic case of pneumonia and often are misdiagnosed and go underreported. Regular testing provides your facility with liability protection in the event of an outbreak.
A Water Management Plan helps to identify the critical areas of concern within a facility’s water systems that can promote or harbor Legionella bacterial growth. The plan includes forming an accountable team, mapping the water systems, identifying critical control points, establishing monitoring procedures and identifying corrective actions to be taken if control criteria are not met.
ASHRAE Standard 188P has placed a legal imperative on facility owners, operators and designers. The intent of the standard is to facilitate awareness of and testing for Legionella to prevent a proven public health threat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed the standard and gone beyond, to advocate regular testing in many cases. A Water Management Plan identifies all areas of potential risk for Legionella growth within a facility and will help to establish monitoring, control and corrective action procedures to eliminate the likelihood of Legionella growth.
Biofilm is composed of a complex group of bacteria and most are non-pathogenic. It does not “introduce” bacteria; rather, it can harbor Legionella bacteria and other organisms that feed off of its rich nutrient content and amplify. This makes it increasingly important to take a proactive approach in treating the water to reduce the incoming bacterial counts and address the areas where bacteria may have already established themselves.
Even after water is treated at the municipal level, bacteria, sediment and other contaminants can still live and grow in the water downstream from the treatment plant. The complex plumbing environment of a building creates the perfect breeding ground for disease-causing waterborne bacteria, including Legionella, Pseudomonas, Mycobacteria and Acinetobacter.