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Microbiol Immunol. 1991;35(9):795-802.

Effects of biocidal treatments to inhibit the growth of legionellae and other microorganisms in cooling towers.

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Department of Microbiology, Gifu University School of Medicine, Japan.


The effects of biocidal treatments for cooling towers were examined through the use of chemicals and ultraviolet irradiation to inhibit the growth of legionellae and other microorganisms. In the water of cooling towers without continuous biocidal treatments, heterotrophic bacteria and bacterivorous protozoan first appeared, and then legionellae increased up to 10(4) CFU/100 ml. When a UV sterilizer was connected to the cooling tower, the legionellae count was 1/10 or 1/100 of that in the nontreated tower water. In the water of towers supplemented continuously with the biocidal chemicals, legionellae were not found during a 4-month period. The biocidal treatments tested were proved to suppress the increase of legionellae in cooling-tower water, and thus are useful in preventing the outbreak of legionellosis due to inhalation of contaminated aerosol from the cooling tower system.

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