By Larry Mayotte, Operations Manager, Service
Building owners and facility managers are diligently preparing their plans to reoccupy buildings that have been under-utilized or sat empty for weeks or months. In their efforts to ensure occupants can safely return to the workplace, they are tuning up their heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and implementing physical distancing and other protocol to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
One area that is often overlooked but is just as critical to safely reopening a building, is a building’s water system (potable, non-potable, cooling towers, evaporative HVAC equipment). Most building owners and operators don’t typically have to deal with health risks from these systems. But, in buildings that have low or no use for extended periods of time, there is significant risk of bacteria such as legionella building up. This build-up puts occupants at risk of exposure to Pontiac Fever, an acute nonfatal respiratory disease, or Legionnaires Disease, a type of pneumonia caused by inhaling bacteria from water and the deadliest waterborne disease in the United States.[Read more…]