Legionella: What is It and How Do We Treat It?

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Legionella: What is It and How Do We Treat It?

If you’re a home pool or hot tub owner, it’s important to understand the potential risks associated with Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease. Here, we’ll explain what Legionella is, what Legionnaires’ disease is, what causes Legionnaires’ disease, and how Legionella can be present in water — particularly in recreational water such as at home swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, and entertainment parks with water rides.

What is Legionella?

Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease. It can also cause a milder flu-like illness called Pontiac fever. Legionella bacteria are commonly found in natural water sources such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. However, they can also grow and spread in man-made water systems, including cooling towers, hot tubs, pools, and plumbing systems.

What is Legionnaires’ Disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe and potentially life-threatening form of pneumonia. This type of pneumonia can be particularly dangerous for individuals with weakened immune systems or pre-existing respiratory conditions. Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease typically start with a high fever, often reaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Other symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches, and in some cases, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What Causes Legionnaires’ Disease?

Understanding what causes Legionnaires’ disease is essential for protecting those that enter your pool or hot tub. Legionnaires’ disease is caused by inhaling small droplets of water that contain Legionella bacteria. The bacteria can grow and multiply in water systems that are not properly maintained or treated, which can include stagnant water, water that is not properly disinfected, and water that is not kept at the correct temperature.

Legionella in Water: How Does It Get There in the First Place?

Legionella can be present in many types of water systems, including swimming pools and hot tubs. In these settings, it can be spread through the air as people breathe in small droplets of water from the pool or hot tub. Legionella can also be spread through mist from water features such as fountains and waterfalls.

How Can You Tell if Water is Unsafe for Swimming?

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if water is contaminated with Legionella just by looking at it. However, there are some signs that can indicate a problem with the water quality. If the water is cloudy or has a strong odor, it could be a sign of poor water quality. It’s also important to make sure that the pool or hot tub is properly maintained and cleaned regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria.

How Does One Prevent It from Getting into Recreational Water?

There are several steps that can be taken to prevent Legionella from growing in recreational water systems. First, it’s important to properly maintain and clean the water system. This includes regular cleaning and disinfection, as well as monitoring the temperature of the water to make sure it is kept at the correct level. The use of a filtration system that leverages ultraviolet light can eliminate legionella in the water entirely, creating a safe and enjoyable space for all.

Aqua Ultraviolet Can Eliminate the Risk of Legionella in Water

If you’re concerned about the presence of Legionella in your recreational water system, Aqua Ultraviolet can help. Our UV sterilizers, such as those in our Pools & Spas collection, destroy harmful viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that commonly contaminate recreational water. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help protect you and your family from Legionella and other harmful, unwanted bacteria.

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For over three decades, Aqua Ultraviolet has been the premier manufacturer of ultraviolet sterilizers and bio-mechanical filtration.

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