CMS Requires Policies and Procedures for Legionella Control

On June 2, 2017, the Survey and Certification Group at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a memorandum, “Requirement to Reduce Legionella Risk in Healthcare Facility Water Systems to Prevent Cases and Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease (LD)” (“S&C Memo”), requiring that facilities develop and follow policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth in building water systems to reduce the risk of growth and spread of Legionella and other pathogens in water. On June 9, 2017, the S&C Memo was revised to clarify provider types to apply to long-term care facilities, hospitals and critical access hospitals.


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After husband dies of Legionnaires’ disease widow warns of silent killer that could be lurking in your garden

A widow has warned the public to be wary of their hose pipes after her 63-year-old husband died of Legionnaires’ disease believed to have been contracted through working in the garden.

Stephen Clements, a grandfather, inhaled toxic bacteria that had grown in stagnant water within the pipe. He died a week later at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on February 24.

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Copper ions and Chloramines Promote Pathogen Growth Under Certain Circumstances

Complexities associated with drinking water plumbing systems can result in undesirable interactions among plumbing components, undermining engineering controls for opportunistic pathogens (OPs). A study examines the effects of plumbing system materials and two commonly applied disinfectants, copper and chloramines, on water chemistry and the growth of Legionella and mycobacteria across a transect of bench- and pilot-scale hot water experiments carried out with the same municipal water supply. Researchers discovered that copper released from corrosion of plumbing materials can initiate evolution of >1,100 times more hydrogen (H2) from water heater sacrificial anode rods than does presence of copper dosed as soluble cupric ions. H2 is a favorable electron donor for autotrophs and causes fixation of organic carbon that could serve as a nutrient for OPs. Dosed cupric ions acted as a disinfectant in stratified stagnant pipes, inhibiting culturable Legionella and biofilm formation, but promoted Legionella growth in pipes subject to convective mixing. This difference was presumably due to continuous delivery of nutrients to biofilm on the pipes under convective mixing conditions. Chloramines eliminated culturable Legionella and prevented L. pneumophila from re-colonizing biofilms, but M. avium gene numbers increased by 0.14-0.75 logs in the bulk water and were unaffected in the biofilm. This study provides practical confirmation of past discrepancies in the literature regarding the variable effects of copper on Legionella growth, and confirms prior reports of trade-offs between Legionella and mycobacteria if chloramines are applied as secondary disinfectant residual.


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Membrane Market Growth

A new market study indicates that the global reverse osmosis (RO) membrane market is expected to grow at CAGR of 9.06% during the period 2017-2021 with kKey vendors The Dow Chemical Company, General Electric, Koch Membrane Systems, and Toray Group.


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Legionella Ubiquitous

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they found the legionella bacteria in most regions of the country.

The bacteria was mostly unknown before a 1976 outbreak that claimed 29 lives, and now, the legionella bacteria can be found almost anywhere.

A new CDC report tested 196 cooling towers across the country, revealing that 84 percent tested positive for legionella DNA.


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