What is Monochloramine?

Monochloramine is a disinfectant that is used to treat drinking water and control Legionella bacteria. It is formed by reacting chlorine with ammonia. It is less reactive than chlorine, but it is more stable and persistent, making it effective for controlling bacterial regrowth and biofilms.

How Does It Control Legionella?

It kills Legionella by penetrating the cell wall and disrupting its metabolism. It is also effective against Legionella that are embedded in biofilms. Monochloramine is more effective at controlling Legionella than chlorine, especially in warm water systems.

Why is Legionella Control Important?

Legionella is a bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a serious respiratory illness. Legionnaires’ disease is most common in people over 50 years old and people with weakened immune systems. It can be fatal in up to 30% of cases.

How is Monochloramine Used to Control Legionella?

It can be used to control Legionella in a variety of settings, including:

  • Municipal drinking water systems
  • Hospitals and other healthcare facilities
  • Hotels and other commercial buildings
  • Residential buildings with complex plumbing systems

Monochloramine is typically added to water at a level of 3-5 milligrams per liter (mg/L). This level is effective at killing Legionella without causing adverse health effects in humans.

Benefits of Using Monochloramine to Control Legionella

There are several benefits to using it to control Legionella:

  • It is effective at killing Legionella, even in biofilms.
  • It is more stable and persistent than chlorine, making it more effective at controlling bacterial regrowth.
  • It is less reactive than chlorine, so it is less likely to react with other chemicals in water to form harmful byproducts.
  • It is relatively inexpensive to use.

Challenges of Using Monochloramine to Control Legionella

There are a few challenges to control Legionella:

  • It can have a slight taste and odor, which may be objectionable to some people.
  • It can corrode some metals, such as copper and brass.
  • It can react with some chemicals in water to form harmful byproducts, such as nitrites and nitrates.

Overall, it is a safe and effective disinfectant for controlling Legionella in drinking water. It is important to carefully monitor the water system to ensure that monochloramine levels are maintained at the appropriate level and that any potential corrosion or byproduct formation is managed.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Flush stagnant water from plumbing systems regularly.
  • Clean and disinfect plumbing fixtures and equipment regularly.
  • Maintain water temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) in hot water systems.
  • Monitor monochloramine levels regularly and adjust as needed.
  • Test water for Legionella regularly, especially in high-risk settings.

If you have any concerns about Legionella or the use of monochloramine, contact us today!

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