Valerie Horton

Chlorine levels high enough to combat legionella

CHLORINE levels in water at Hervey Bay Hospital and the Oral Health and Cancer Care buildings are at appropriate levels to combat legionella, a spokeswoman for the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service has said.

"The WBHHS Water Quality Risk Management Plan has a target range for free chlorine of 0.6 to 1.0mg/L for cold water systems, 0.3 to 1.0mg/L for warm water systems and 0.3 to 0.5mg/L for hot water systems," she said.

"The monitoring at Hervey Bay Hospital indicates these targets are being achieved."

Legionella was detected at Hervey Bay Hospital in May last year and an outbreak of the bacteria was found in mid-December at Hervey Bay's Oral Health and Cancer Care Centre, located on the same grounds as the hospital.

The spokeswoman said water disinfection had the greatest impact on water safety, resulting in substantial decreases in waterborne disease.

"There are a number of disinfectants used in drinking water supplies and chlorine is the major chemical used for water disinfection around the world.

"The effectiveness of disinfection depends on a number of factors including the physical quality of the water and persistence of the disinfectant in the water over time."

The spokeswoman said water flow was also important in combating Legionella, along with the management of warm and hot water systems.

The Fraser Coast Regional Council and Wide Bay Water were contacted for comment but a response had not been received by either at the time of going to press.



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