Letter to Ohio School Superintendents on Legionella Prevention

Dear Ohio School District Superintendent,
Please find attached a copy of the latest Center for Disease Control Tool Kit for the prevention of Legionaires Disease.
The CDC has confirmed that it is internal building water systems – cooling towers,water systems for showers – that cause the aerosolization of contaminated water and that the breathing in of these droplets causes legionellosis.
An Ohio school district is currently using the following Plan. The names of the District and vendors have been removed by request:

Legionella  Water Safety  Plan

1.       Public Schools personnel drain, power wash and vacuum the cooling tower annually before start-up.

 2.      Once the cooling tower is filled Environmental Water will shock the tower with Towerchlor based on system volume.


3.      The cooling towers are on a biocide program that is administered through a water treatment controller.  The treatments used are a non-oxidizing biocide (Ultrakleen #1), and an oxidizing biocide (Stabrom 909) to control bacteria levels in the cooling tower.  Monthly visits with XYZ Company testing for bacteria levels are performed and adjustments are made accordingly with reports.

 4.      Legionella testing is being initialized this July and will be tested by XYZ Laboratory.  

*Editor’s Note:  The term “Cooling Tower” now includes all building water systems, including heaters for shower water. Contaminated water that is aerosolized in showers is a major cause of infection.
Further guidance can be drawn from the New York State Health Department legionella prevention law, and from the legionella prevention program prepared by The Ohio State University, attached above.
Link to the New York law:
The new statewide regulations require registration, testing, inspection, and certification of cooling towers. View the regulations; Register your cooling tower
Michael Zachary Korzen
College of Public Health
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

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