DUBAI, UAE, 19 August 2019: Prevention is better than cure when it comes to mitigating the threat of legionella, with cooling tower manufacturers advocating for stakeholders to comply with existing guidelines and recommendations in terms of design and equipment selection. Talal Damerchi, General Manager, Hamon Cooling Tower Company, weighed in on the issue by discussing three important requirements stakeholders must keep in mind, which includes installing efficient drift eliminators, allowing access to clean the tower and avoiding the stagnation of water.
Jelle Wagelmans, Regional Manager Middle East, Evapco Middle East, pointed out that while the drift eliminator will be useful in limiting legionella, in the event of an outbreak, stakeholders should be more vigilant in making sure design parameters are followed to avoid the problem, in the first place, pointing out that a number of bodies, such as ASHRAE, HSE, Eurovent bring the same message in terms of features that must be considered in terms of design. Elaborating further, Damerchi enumerated the practical recommendations Eurovent proposes to designers as an important guide, which includes ensuring drainage of pipes, avoiding dead arms in piping, avoiding water stagnation in profiles by drilling holes, if required, and limiting direct exposure of the water to the sun by using special drift eliminators in the air inlet.
Wagelmans said that he considers avoiding sunlight inside the cooling tower as a single most important point. “If your cooling tower is completely dark, this will minimize the risk for legionella,” he said. “If you then have a decent water treatment, together with high-efficient drift eliminators, you should be safe. But it is important to keep sunlight out; without UV rays, it will not grow at a pace required that will lead to an outbreak. It’s about the design. The cooling tower should be designed to keep sunlight out of the water basin, and you want to avoid algae formation, because algae is food for bacteria and legionella. Birey Bakanay, Vice General Manager, Niba, added that preventing the medium where the bacteria can form and proliferate is still a very important point. Surfaces that are prone to bacteria formation, he said, are improving, as are water-treatment solutions.
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Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at email@example.com