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Legionella: Warmer Weather, Greater Risk?

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Legionella: Warmer Weather, Greater Risk?

As we approach the summer, first thoughts turn to ice-creams, swimming pools and waterparks BUT don’t forget to take a moment to consider the increased Legionella risk from your water systems. The longer, warmer and wetter summers we now experience in the Caribbean are a recognized factor in the increase in cases of legionnaires’ disease.

How does temperature affect the growth of Legionella bacteria?

Legionella bacteria thrives between 20℃ and 45℃, they are dormant below 20℃and are being killed off quickly at 60℃. Temperature is the primary method of controlling legionella growth in our water systems (although other methods using chemicals are also widely used).

In hot weather, or where water usage is lower than normal, any stored cold water (in tanks or in pipes) is at increased risk of the temperature creeping up above 20℃. Where this happens, bacteria can start to grow at an exponential rate, 

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