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‘What you can’t measure, you can’t prevent’

How can a deadly, chlorine resistant, water-borne micro-organism be monitored and controlled from anywhere in the world? Is it possible to achieve this without compromising on environmental and operational sustainability? Dr Rachna Dave, Founder & CEO, MicroGO LLP explains the how and why of Legionella elimination.

What is the problem with Legionella in the hotel industry?

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia (lung infection) caused by the bacteria Legionella. It is often associated with hotels and resorts and can be deadly. Water management is critical in its control. The most notable feature of this organism and its control is its resistance to chlorine (a widely used water disinfectant). According to data, Legionella is chlorine-resistant and can withstand concentrations of up to 0.5ppm, thus needing special attention.

Where is Legionella infestation most common?

Legionella infestations can occur in almost all aspects of water infrastructure in the industry, particularly cooling towers, where cooling tower fans can spray Legionella-contaminated water when disinfectant levels are below the total residual oxidant (TRO) limits. Showers are another area where it can grow and spread if the TRO levels are lower than recommended.

When hot tubs are not properly maintained, the warm temperature encourages Legionella growth, which can spread through the water jets. In addition, interruptions in water supply or contamination of the primary source of water with organic matter increases the demand for the oxidising agent, thereby necessitating dosage adjustment.

How is MicroGO solving the Legionnaires’ problem for the hospitality industry?

MicroGO`s approach to solving a problem for our clients has been around how we provide the right science, how we bring more accountability, and how we make our offerings both business- and environmental-friendly. The salient features of our water management platform are:

  • Our water management system is based on chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide has been shown to be extremely effective in the control of legionella bacteria and the prevention of Legionnaires’ Disease compared to traditional chlorine.
  • Importantly, chlorine dioxide is delivered by our patented platform TubeletTM that releases a pure form of chlorine dioxide. Tubelet does not release any chemical by-products or reactants in the treated water, thereby protecting the pipelines from corrosion and not exposing users to any chemicals.
  • Tubelet is further integrated with MicroGO`s GOpure™ INLINE technology. It automatically maintains the set TRO in real time.
  • Further integrated with MicroGO’s GOsmartTM IoT-enabled ecosystem, it creates system alerts when set parameters (TRO and/or temperature) drop.

Please elaborate on your new water management system.

Our solution GOpure INLINE measures TRO in real time using various sensor-based technologies. The system is programmed to trigger the dosing pumps to initiate correctional dosage when the TRO levels are not met. If the incoming water has the prerequisite TRO, the system logs the data and does not perform additional dosing, ensuring that operational sustainability is maintained. Additionally, the temperature of the water is also measured, and an alarm is triggered if the conditions are outside the ideal range for Legionella growth.

We created an IoT-enabled ecosystem that integrates water hygiene as part of our all-in-one hygiene monitoring portal, GOsmart, which also monitors hand, surface and other hygiene SOPs. This allows hygiene managers at facilities to keep a bird’s eye view on the entire hygiene program for a single or multiple facilities from anywhere in the world.

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