Remove Legionella Bacteria from Drinking Water

Legionella Bacteria can be killed using a UV System.

One of the basic necessities of man is water. Today, the advancement in scientific research has enabled societies to use methods that would help improve the quality of water we consume everyday. Drinking safe water is important because we want to minimize health problems that we may encounter from simply drinking water from various water sources. Untreated water most likely contains numerous organisms and chemicals which can be harmful to the human body. One of the organisms that thrive in water is Legionella pneumonphila. It is an organism that targets the human respiratory tract and may cause complications in the lungs. It can be found in areas where warm water is abundant, whether in natural or artificial water sources.

Legionella pneumonphila is an aquatic organism that can thrive between 25 to 45 C environments. It can cause a fatal and infectious disease called Legionellosis that are of two forms. The milder illness is called Pontiac fever which resembles acute influenza while the severe form is called Legion fever which leads to pneumonia. The bacteria target the respiratory tract especially the lungs. Usually, the disease starts with fever, chills and cough. Others may experience muscle and head ache, fatigue, loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting. Normally, transmission is due to the inhalation of aerosol or suspended fine particles in the air containing Legionella bacteria. These particles may originate from a contaminated water source. Hotels, fountains, cruise ships and hospitals with poor pipework and cooling systems are usually the common places where Legionella thrive. They can also be found in isolated lakes, ponds and streams. In The US, there was an outbreak that occurred on July 27, 1976 at the Bellevue Stratford Hotel, Philadelphia. There were 221 people infected and 34 deaths in the outbreak. Studies show that males are at least twice as likely to develop this disease. Middle aged adults and infants below one year old have a higher risk as well. Infected individuals who suffer chronic lung problems, diabetes and immunisuppression prior to the infection of these bacteria may be in danger of developing severe forms of Legionellosis.

Unlike most microorganisms found in untreated water, Legionella bacteria are found to attack the respiratory tract and cause a fatal disease which can worsen if the infected person is suffering from chronic lung disease or other serious illnesses. The symptoms include fevers, chills, cough, headache and fatigue. These bacteria flourish in warm waters and may thrive to both natural and artificial water sources. Things which we usually use in our leisure or medication such as whirl spas, cooling towers, respiratory therapy equipment, humidifiers, showers, faucets and evaporative condensers should always be disinfected properly before and after use to prevent Legionella bacteria from contaminating our tools.