Increasingly hot summers such as the one experienced in recent weeks in Quebec are no stranger to the proliferation of Legionella bacteria in cooling towers, as is the case at the Le Ber pavilion of the École de la Montée in Sherbrooke, according to a specialist.
With the continuously hot and humid temperatures, the water in the towers is kept warm, which encourages the growth of bacteria, explains biologist Étienne Lemieux, President and CEO of SPI Bio, whose company specializes in bacterial prevention.
Legionella is the bacterium responsible for legionnaire’s disease, which is similar to pneumonia. The air-conditioning system in Le Ber Pavilion was shut down Tuesday because of the presence of the bacteria, more than a week after a monthly test was conducted to detect its presence.
The delay is inherent to the technique. The technique takes time for the bacteria to grow and be detected,” says Lemieux.
His company is marketing a device that detects the presence of the bacteria in “real time”.
As soon as we reach a small level, below the risk level, we can act preventively to avoid reaching thresholds with health risks,” summarizes Étienne Lemieux.
The bacterium is present everywhere in nature, in rivers, soils and lakes. It cannot be eliminated from the environment. On the other hand, its growth must be limited and cooling towers are incredible growth sites for this bacterium in addition to being fans. So they spray aerosols into the air that may or may not contain the bacteria,” he says.
Article found in: https://ici.radio-canada.ca/premiere/emissions/Ecoutez-l-estrie/segments/entrevue/87067/legionellose-sante-ecole-secondaire-leber-sherbrooke-estrie?fbclid=IwAR1RdyVDZ7CfM4dXEM56pbUkahzKgE8pW6bI0x1c6vCW3QeNw_0iPoDCUso