French hospital stays legionella-free

The 115-bed Les Iris rehabilitation hospital near Lyon, France installed Alfa Laval’s AquaProtect anti-legionella tap water system in 2005 to replace old tanks without any inspection openings. The hot water system at the hospital is a complete closed loop up to the second level of the building. Pipe work is running from each level to the different showers at the end of each wing.

DATE 2023-11-28

Legionella-safe system installed

The AquaProtect system, which continuously disinfects circulating water at 70°C, requires low maintenance and saves a lot of space in the boiler room. The control box is also easy to operate.

After a public tender, installer Cofély got the contract to install a new tap water heating system in the hospital. The reason for choosing the AquaProtect anti-Legionella system was a long-standing relationship with our Sales Engineer Laurent Bidaud. Also good feedback from an anti-Legionella installation at another clinic in Lyon was taken into consideration. Competitor products were considered, but only Alfa Laval equipment could offer 70°C hot water during peak hours.

In the hospital, one AquaProtect system with a 300-liter tank has replaced eight 500-liter tanks with heating coils.

"The compact system design of the AquaProtect requires low maintenance and is very easy to use and monitor," says Philippe Raquin, the Technical Service Manager at the Iris hospital.

Alfa Laval has a worldwide presence that includes a French speaking team close by, and technical expertise always backs up local sales and service teams. These advantages facilitate smooth and problem-free commissioning and easy service and maintenance afterwards.

Water-born disease

The AquaProtect tap water system uses continuous thermal disinfection of incoming and circulating water to provide Legionella free domestic hot water for large buildings and institutions.

Studies have shown that many hot water systems contain Legionella and other bacteria of various concentrations.

Enclosed, warm storage vessels, blind spots in pipe-work and water systems containing stagnant water provide an ideal environment in which the bacteria can flourish, particularly if sludge, sediment and scale are present for them to feed on.

"Legionella bacteria multiply more rapidly at temperatures between 20°C and 45°C. Hot and cold water systems in institutions and large buildings are major sources of Legionella bacteria, which cause a life threatening pneumonia called Legionnaires disease," says Dr. Tom Makin, independent consultant and former directorate manager at the Department of Medical Microbiology at the Royal Liverpool University Hospitals in the UK.

Regular check to trace any sign of legionella

Water samples are taken regularly at different taps by a nurse-hygienist and are sent to an independent laboratory. Since the installation in 2005 no legionella infection has been detected. However a suspicion of legionella has been registered in 2008, but under the threshold of laboratory standards. This specific result was corresponding to a very low secondary outlet temperature (44°C).

Once the temperature had been adjusted the thermal treatment of the control box was engaged immediately to eradicate any bacteria trace in the entire network. The day after samples showed no trace of any legionella bacterias.