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What is Legionella?


Understanding more about legionellosis can help you understand why a legionella risk management plan is so important. Legionellosis is a respiratory disease caused by Legionella bacteria. Sometimes the bacteria causes a serious type of pneumonia (lung infection) called Legionnaires’ disease. The bacteria can also cause a less serious infection called Pontiac fever that has symptoms similar to a mild case of the flu.


Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease are typically associated with contaminated large or complex water systems, like those found in hospitals, hotels, long-term care facilities, and even gyms. The most likely sources of infection include, but are not limited to, showers, cooling towers, decorative fountains, and hot tubs.


Legionella is transmitted through the inhalation or aspiration (water accidentally enters the lungs) of small water droplets containing the bacteria. The contaminated droplets can take the form of a mist or spray. During infection, the bacteria will invade lung cells and replicate intracellularly.


The people most at risk for contracting Legionnaires’ disease are those with weakened immune systems. People with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, or diabetes; those who are over the age of 65; and those who have recently undergone an organ transplant have a greater risk of infection. Also, those whose lungs are weakened due to smoking or chronic emphysema are at risk of infection after exposure to the bacterium.


As water treatment professionals, we take public health very seriously. That is why we are reaching out to facilities across the state of California and bringing awareness to the silent threat that could be lurking in your building water system. We don’t just want you to know about it — we want you to help you do something about it! Having a legionella prevention plan in place will help you protect everyone at your facility or building.

Want to know more about legionella prevention or how to institute a legionella program? Meras Water Solutions can help you create a complete and comprehensive Legionella Control Program that follows industry accepted guidelines set forth by ASHRAE, CDC, WHO, and CTI. An interactive, thorough, and continuously improved program offers greater health safety for those in your facility.


The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE®) develops standards that are accredited by the American Standard Institute (ANSI). The industry has adopted Standards 188P which is a standard practice pertaining to Legionella control. This standard lays out the foundation for what an effective Legionella control program should entail. This standard is heavily influenced by the HACCP structure and it shares all of its components with other entities such as ESGLI and WHO.

Meras Water Solutions is the water treatment solution for you.