Recently the Washington Post re-published a story from 2010 about an indoor waterfall in a Wisconsin hospital that was linked to an outbreak of Legionnaires disease. There are many factors that can affect an outbreak such as described but as is the case more often than not, there are many systems in a healthcare facility that carry a much greater risk of breeding legionella than a water feature. Simple precautions in engineering, filtration and installation can reduce this risk to almost zero. The documents below outline the many benefits to having a water feature indoors.
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It is also very important to note that this particular indoor water feature (mentioned in the Washington Post article) was NOT engineered or installed by a quality or experienced water feature manufacturer. It was made and installed by a company that had little to no experience in our industry. These are the type of concerns that we have every time that we bid a new project. Many companies out there, from local plumbers and general contractors to aquarium makers and even pool builders, look at the pictures on our website and think "I can do that". This just isn't true, we know from experience that the first waterfall that you attempt to build just won't work right! It takes years of developing standards and techniques in everything related to engineering and water delivery to viable materials and installation by qualified technicians. Then you get into filtration and Infection Control! There are many devices and chemicals that an uneducated person might think would work great and while some of them have good qualities and work effectively in certain water features, they aren't designed for indoor water features and their recirculating systems. Chlorine and Bleach are examples of common chemicals that work well in some water features but should not be used in indoor waterfalls, number one because of the undesirable smell that they produce and too because they are very harsh chemicals that can damage internal components over time.
Bluworld has worked hard to develop such standards in engineering, manufacturing, filtration and installation through our nearly 15 years of experience in the industry. Only using the highest quality components and leading edge technology when it comes to filtration. The documents below will outline these techniques as well as cover just some of the benefits of indoor waterfalls. Please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you have a question or concern. I look forward to dispelling the myth and negative connotation that indoor water features get sometimes.
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As late as 4:30pm on January 13th, I was able to speak with and interview one of the foremost experts in Prevention, Treatment and Investigation of Legionella, Tim Keane. Tim's company, Legionella Risk Management is called into healthcare facilities all over the world when an outbreak occurs and prior to help prevent them. Mr. Keane is currently the Secretary of the ASHRAE committee writing the new ASHRAE Legionella standard titled, "Prevention of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems" and author of the only existing guideline exclusively on Legionella control in ornamental fountains the document titled, "Guidelines for Control of Legionella in Ornamental Water Features". He coauthored a book published in November 2011 titled, "Infection Control During Construction Manual: Policies, Procedures and Strategies for Compliance". When I asked him about the recent paper titled, "An Outbreak of Legionnaires Disease Associated with a Decorative Water Wall Fountain in a Hospital", Mr. Keane had the following comments.
"This paper is a very important document. Too often the Legionella issue is overlooked, especially in healthcare faclities.
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Bluworld Infection Control Comprehensive Package
Preventing Legionellosis in Building Water Systems
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