Benefits of Recirculating Cold Water in VA Facilities to Discourage Legionella Growth

Legionella in Non-Recirculated Cold Water Systems

Stagnant, warm water in a plumbing system increases the risk of Legionella bacteria growth. In cold water systems, adequate flow through high fixture usage and low water temperatures discourage the growth of Legionella and other biofilms. However, in the event flow throughout the system or part of the system is insufficient, standing water can drastically increase the likelihood of bacteria colonization.

When cold water flow is minimal or stopped altogether, as seen during the recent COVID-19 lockdowns that left buildings unoccupied for long periods of time, disinfectant levels evaporate, and temperatures gradually rise in the Legionella growth range, leading to bacteria colonization and uneven free chlorine distribution throughout the system.

Legionella bacteria causes Legionnaires’ disease, a type of pneumonia infecting the lung. People can get sick when they breathe in water droplets or accidentally swallow water containing Legionella.

The CDC says Legionella grows best in a building’s cold water distribution system within a specific temperature range of 77°F-113°F. Cold water temperature throughout the system should be maintained at or below 77°F to the greatest extent possible to inhibit growth.

CSU CW 1521X685 CMYK 300x135 - Benefits of Recirculating Cold Water in VA Facilities to Discourage Legionella Growth
CircuitSolver® Union Cold Water Balancing valve.

To discourage Legionella bacteria growth, cold water systems need to be recirculated. They must be balanced appropriately to establish continuous flow and keep line temperatures below 68°F, the point at which Legionella can begin to colonize.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) aims to prevent the spread of healthcare-associated Legionella disease and scald injury from water systems in VHA buildings where patients, residents, or visitors stay overnight with the VHA Directive 1061(1).

The directive states, “The use of piping system insulation, automatic drain devices, and recirculation to limit the rate and duration of an increase in cold water temperature in combination with appropriate biocide levels can be effective at preventing Legionella growth.”

The Need for Dynamic Balancing

In order to achieve stability, system balancing must be dynamic – continually addressing the ever-changing conditions. Thermostatic balancing valves adjust dynamically, providing the best opportunity for sustainability and Legionella mitigation. Traditional manual balancing valves could provide a solution to cold water balancing, but their static operation inherently does not factor in nor adapt to the realities of everyday system operation & changes, which may render the balancing obsolete over time.

CircuitSolver® Union Cold Water (CSU-CW) Balancing valve will automatically keep cold water moving and maintain water quality, reducing stagnation and the growth of bacteria.

Utilizing our proprietary thermal actuator as the controlling element, the valve should be installed at the end of each branch or riser in a cold water recirculation system. It will modulate open or closed in response to the water temperature to maintain a specified temperature in the line.

The CSU-CW valve features a union with an optional check valve built into the body of the CircuitSolver® to reduce the number of system components installed and minimize potential leak points.

CSU-CW benefits:

  • Stainless Steel, which is highly resistant to scaling in high mineral content environments
  • High thrust actuator keeps orifice free of debris
  • Union with integrated O-ring for a leak-free seal
  • Maintains temperature in branches and risers below 68°F
  • Never fully closes, some water always passing through
  • Provides even distribution of residual chlorine levels

These systems have become more prominent in VA hospitals because of the VHA 1061(1) directive; however, any commercial building such as schools, hotels, high-rise, and multi-family apartment buildings can benefit from implementing a cold-water recirculation system to protect the water lines from the risk of bacteria colonization during periods of low flow or non-use.

Watch how it works and see how the CircuitSolver® Union Cold Water thermostatic balancing valve automatically and continuously balances your cold-water recirculation system to discourage Legionella bacteria colonization and reduce stagnation.

Find out more here.

2022: CircuitSolver Year in Review

We had another great year, thanks to you!  We attended several industry expos, launched the new CircuitSolver® Cold Water Valve, and debuted several pieces of content that showcase how our valves work and engineers’ and contractors’ thoughts about them. Read our CircuitSolver Year in Review below!

TRADESHOWS WE ATTENDED

We attended the AHR Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, in February and the ASPE Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana, in September.

Valve Set Up Table 300x225 - 2022: CircuitSolver Year in Review

jim becca tom CS booth 300x225 - 2022: CircuitSolver Year in Review

NEW CIRCUITSOLVER® PRODUCT LAUNCH

CSU CW 1521X685 CMYK 300x135 - 2022: CircuitSolver Year in Review

We launched the new CircuitSolver Union Cold Water balancing valve (CSU-CW). This valve automatically and continuously balances a cold water recirculation system to discourage Legionella bacteria colonization and to reduce stagnation.

By maintaining a set temperature in each branch/riser, the valve reduces stagnation and ensures “residual chlorine” is distributed throughout the system.

Find Out More here!

NEW TESTIMONIALS & VIDEOS

CO tupelo honey cafe 150x150 - 2022: CircuitSolver Year in Review
Tupelo Honey Café, in Denver, CO.
Project Manager, Eric McTee of ME Engineers details his experience with specifying CircuitSolver over the last few years.
Wyoming life resource center pic 150x150 - 2022: CircuitSolver Year in Review
Wyoming Life Resource Center in Lander, WY.

Cody Cline, Vice President of GW Mechanical talks about the benefits he saw when installing the DTV (Drain Tempering Valve).

New CircuitSolver® Video

CircuitSolver balancing valves are temperature devices that solve a temperature problem. The valve continuously monitors the water temperature in the system and will automatically adjust flow to maintain a set temperature at the end of each branch or riser eliminating the need for manual balancing.

CircuitSolver® Union Cold Water Balancing Valve Video

The CircuitSolver Union Cold Water thermostatic balancing valve automatically and continuously balances a cold water recirculation system (DCWS) to discourage Legionella bacteria colonization. By maintaining a set temperature at the end of each branch or riser, the valve reduces stagnation and ensures “residual chlorine” is distributed throughout the system.

PHCP Pros Interview with Tom Ruggierio at ASPE Expo

Tom Ruggierio, Sales Director for our Commercial Plumbing Division, CircuitSolver, spoke with PHCP Pros’ editor at the ASPE expo about trends in the commercial plumbing industry and the effects CircuitSolver thermostatic balancing valves have made on the industry.

Webinar Alert!

Tom Ruggierio held a Webinar with PHCP Pros in April on Managing Flow Through Domestic Hot Water Systems While Performing Thermal Disinfection.

The webinar is available on-demand on the PHCP Pros website, and attendees can earn CEUs. Watch Now!

WE ARE EXPANDING OUR REACH

In Rep news, we now have 4 regional managers covering the country – Anthony Ceresa, Tim Hartung, Tim Grisi, and Tom Ruggierio.

This will allow us more time to work alongside our reps in our efforts to continue to support the engineers, contractors, and wholesalers in their respective regions.

New reps in:

Thank you and see you in 2023!