South Bronx Hospital Staves Off Legionnaires Disease with Anti-Microbial Cooling Towers

South Bronx Hospital Staves Off Legionnaires Disease with Anti-Microbial Cooling Towers


18 Cooling towers

NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln chose to increase protections against possible future exposure to Legionella bacteria by installing 18 anti-microbial cooling towers.

Deadly outbreaks of Legionnaires Disease have become an all too common occurrence. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 6,100 people per year in the United States are sickened by this serious form of pneumonia, and one out of 10 of those will die. Legionella – the bacteria that causes Legionnaires - proliferates in water systems like the cooling towers used in conjunction with large HVAC systems.

So when a cooling tower supporting the HVAC system at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln was nearing its expected end of life, the management of the 362-bed hospital in the South Bronx saw an opportunity. The year before, the neighboring community had experienced outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, and even though the hospital’s cooling towers played no role in those outbreaks, the chance to increase protections against possible future exposures of the bacteria that cause the disease was an important consideration.  

Accordingly, the hospital’s engineering and management teams prioritized the selection of an anti-microbial cooling tower option. They also gave extra weight to finding a system that would save energy, consistent with the larger health system’s ongoing goals.


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