Experts recommend seasonal cooling tower maintenance
With the number of deaths from Legionnaires' now at 10, experts are urging that cooling towers be checked at least seasonally if not more.
The company HIGHMARK cleans and maintains cooling towers just like the one at Lincoln Hospital that tested positive for the bacteria legionella. While the company doesn't maintain any towers in the Bronx, the co-founder of the company did offer some expert advice on keeping cooling towers clean.
Richard Gerbe, co-founder of HIGHMARK, says towers need to be checked at least seasonally. He says in addition to checking that the machines are working at full capacity, companies should also look for leaks and make sure levels are always correct. Gerbe adds that proper filters are also key because that is what is pulling out any bacteria. A water treatment program is also recommended to prevent the growth of organisms.
Officials say companies in the Bronx should follow the same strict guidelines that HIGHMARK adheres to.