August 24, 2021 zacherlaw 0 Comments

The CDC recently published recommendations for the best practices of disinfecting a hot tub that contains Legionella. It is vitally important that hot tubs are properly disinfected when Legionella is found. Hot tubs are a well-documented source of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. As the water heats up, some of the water particles are aerosolized. These are then inhaled by those in and around the hot tub. If these particles contain Legionella, there is a chance that the individual who inhaled it could get very sick.

The first step in the disinfection process is to close the hot tub immediately. This means it should be closed for use. Additionally, the jets and circulation pumps should be shut down. It is very important that the hot tub is not drained until the proper water samples are collected. Next, the state or local public health agency needs to be contacted and informed of the presence of Legionella. The state or local health department will likely provide guidance as to the next steps of the investigation and determine if laboratory testing needs to be completed.

Water sampling is one of the most important steps. As stated above, this needs to be done before the hot tub is drained. Samples are generally taken from the tub, jets, drain, and filters. The hot tub should be drained once samples are taken but should not be reopened until subsequent test results are negative for Legionella.

Once the hot tub is drained all hot tub surfaces, skimming devices and other components should be scrubbed vigorously with a chlorine solution. Once properly scrubbed, the hot tub should be rinsed thoroughly with clean water. Additionally, all filters should be replaced, and any repairs should be made while the hot tub is drained.

Finally, once all of the above-described steps have been completed, the hot tub can be refilled. It should be hyper-chlorinated using 20 ppm free chlorine. All jets should remain off for the first hour to allow the water to circulate. Then, the jets should be turned on for 9 additional hours to ensure total circulation. The chlorine should remain at 20 ppm for the entire 10 hours. Once these steps are completed, the use of the hot tub can resume. [1]

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For more information on Legionnaires’ disease, check out the National Academies of Sciences Management of Legionella in Water Systems Report Here.

THE MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE HAVE BEEN PREPARED BY JULES ZACHER, P.C. FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE OR A SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL COUNSEL.    

[1] To read the CDC’s Recommended Practices click here.

The CDC Released Recommended Best Practices for the Disinfection of Hot Tubs that Contain Legionella was last modified: August 24th, 2021 by zacherlaw

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