After weathering the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses and people are anxious to return to a more normal life: working again, dining out, traveling, recreation and leisure, social gatherings (within reason, of course). Returning to our previous lifestyle should be an easy transition, but will be welcoming a whole other set of health and safety issues? What has happened to the health of our city’s buildings during this prolonged period of quarantine? What do I need to do to reopen safely?
This prolonged period of quarantine may have helped control the spread of COVID-19, but has provided Legionella bacteria with a unique and unwanted opportunity to colonize and spread unnoticed throughout buildings’ water systems while they are primarily unoccupied, and the water systems experience stagnation. Legionnaires’ disease is a global disease that is associated with a building’s water systems, including domestic water, cooling towers, ice machines, decorative water features, and pools and spas. The disease is preventable, and can be solved with appropriate precautions.
While hospitals are mostly already familiar with the risk stagnant water systems pose to the health of their buildings, other types of facilities have not had to worry about these problems prior to now. Those facilities most at risk of Legionella bacteria upon reopening include those that may have been unoccupied or low-use during this pandemic, such as the following:
- Outpatient Surgical or Treatment Centers
- Health Clubs and Spas
- Schools, Universities, Including Student Housing
Who is Precept Environmental, and How Can We Help?
Precept Environmental provides superior resources to the commercial and industrial markets to help manage the hazards associated with airborne and waterborne pathogens that can lead to disease. All of the solutions that Precept Environmental provides are based on industry guidelines from authoritative entities, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ASHRAE, and the Cooling Technology Institute (CTI). Some of the services you may need to ensure a safe reopening of your building may include the following:
- Chlorination treatment of your building’s domestic water supply
- Disinfection and cleaning of water systems, such as cooling towers, and storage tanks
- Flushing protocols to move water through the building
- Analytical testing of the water to ensure acceptable conditions
- Implementation of a water safety plan on a long-term basis