If you’ve been watching the news coverage of Flint, Michigan’s water crisis, you probably have heard that the corrosion in the city’s water pipes is leading to an increase in the number of individuals contracting Legionnaires’ disease. As a property manager or facility manager in Chicago, it is up to you to prevent severely corroded pipes through regular maintenance of your plumbing system.
Aging Water Pipes, Corrosion and Legionella
The bacteria that causes legionnaires’ disease thrives best in warm water that has the nutrients or organic material it needs to survive, thrive and multiply, and corroded water pipes can provide a source of food. According to an article on C&EN, legionella bacteria can flourish and multiply in water pipes that have an abundance of organic material due to pipe corrosion. Specifically, when metal pipes are corroded by acidic water, they lose their protective coatings, allowing iron to leach into the water. Once this occurs, any legionella bacteria present in the system begin to thrive.
Detecting Legionella Bacteria
As a property manager, you should know the status of your drinking water before your residents start developing symptoms of bacterial pneumonia. This means that you should periodically have your pipes tested for bacteria as well as other contaminants, like excessive levels of lead and iron, and you should schedule a pipe assessment to determine the levels of corrosion in your water pipes. If contaminants or legionella bacteria are found, there are steps you can take to sterilize your pipes and prevent further corrosion.
Stop Corrosion with Pipe Lining from Nu Flow
If you are worried about the corrosion levels in your residential building’s water pipes, our pipe lining experts can perform a building pipe assessment to determine how much corrosion and debris is in your pipes and estimate the remaining expected useful life. During the assessment, we can also tell you if your plumbing pipes are good candidates for the pipe lining process and provide you with an estimate.
Lining your pipes with a pipe liner or epoxy coating prevents further corrosion by preventing water from reaching the surfaces of your pipes. The lining process itself also ensures that your pipes are clean and free of any debris, which eliminates the food source for the legionella bacteria. This is because interior surfaces of your pipes must be thoroughly cleaned and all the rough corrosion and debris must be removed prior to lining your pipes.
To learn more about how pipe lining can prevent corroded water pipes and extend their useful lives, call us at 815-790-9000.