You may have seen the recent headline news where Legionnaires’ disease has killed 12 and sickened more than 120 people in New York City. The news reported that more than 15% of the cooling towers tested there were found to be contaminated with Legionella bacteria.Cooling towers are a part of large cooling systems for facilities and are specialized heat exchanging devices to cool water and dissipate heat back to the atmosphere. Water within cooling towers is heated via heat exchange, which can be a breeding ground for the bacteria. The heat and evaporated water are pulled by large cooling fans located at the top of the cooling tower. This causes water flow through the cooling tower and out of the top of the tower in the form of mists. The mists can be contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that cooling towers are an ideal environment for Legionella bacteria if they are not properly cleaned, disinfected, and maintained. Cleaning and disinfecting contaminated cooling towers is nothing new for us at Blackwell's, Inc. We have an established cooling tower cleaning protocol just for this purpose. This protocol establishes site procedures and practices that reduce the risk of Legionella becoming a hazard in plant water systems and ensures compliance with facility and local or regional regulatory requirements.