A study published by legionella.org has demonstrated that the application of chlorine dioxide improved efficacy in eradicating the risk of legionnaire’s disease in water systems.
Legionnella is a common organism that grows in sludges and slimes. The bacteria is the main culprit for Legionnaire’s Disease and Pontiac Fever. Legionnaire’s Disease is a type of pneumonia contyracted by breathing mist from infected hot tubs, showers and air-conditioning in larger buildings. Legionnaire’s Disease is very serious and can be life threatening.
The same bacteria causes Pontiac Fever when it grows in hot water. In this case, the bacteria is found in water tanks, ponds, plumbing, showers, fountains, spas and even industrial humidifiers and mechanical ventilators.
The Australian Government website health.gov.au warns that rainwater tanks are potential sites of contamination. It is especially dangerous for people in warmer Australian climates as temperatures inside water tanks reach between 25°C and 50°C+.
Probably the best way to prevent these diseases is the use of Chlorine Dioxide.
Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is a stable free radical with an unpaired electron that creates a one-electron transfer reaction when put into contact with organic and inorganic compounds. Sounds like a science lesson but this is quite a simple, and common process called ‘electron transfer’ (something that occurs in natural processes such photosynthesis). The unpaired electron attaches to the entity it comes into contact with.
The result of the electron transfer is that organic material that ClO2 encounters, such as legionella, are killed off through a natural process.
Better yet, the ClO2 is an environmentally sound water treatment. Where other treatments, such as chlorine, leave higher traces in treated water, ClO2 has safe residual levels well below maximum accepted levels.
Another great benefit to using ClO2 when treating water systems is that, unlike chlorine, it is non-corrosive. Chlorine is just as effective as ClO2 in eradicating legionella from water systems. However, it corrodes pipes and increases the risk of damage to plant and equipment when residual chlorine levels are high. This is one more reason why industries such as mining, oil and gas prefer using ClO2.
This study demonstrates that for a clean, effective means of treating water systems for harmful bacteria such as legionella, ClO2 is just as effective as other, more toxic methods, but has less impact on the environment.
Many industries now use ClO2 in their processes. It not only provides clean, safe drinking water for staff but also ensures less corrosive water usage with expensive plant and machinery that are highly important for day-to-day operations. It is win-win for people and machinery as well as for the financial prosperity of households and businesses alike.