Safe Chemical Solutions Since 1942

Cleaning your cooling tower & Legionnaires disease

legionnaires disease
© Wikipedia

For most facilities, the main reason for regular maintenance on cooling towers is to maintain energy efficiency. This cleaning, which is recommended twice a year in most regions, helps keep operating costs down and reduces the risk of costly repairs.

Legionnaires’ Disease 

Since 1976 (see post on the origin of Legionnaire’s Disease), the importance of cooling tower maintenance has expanded to address health concerns, namely Legionella Pneumophila or commonly known as Legionnaires’ disease.

Though Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease, is fairly common and does not pose a serious threat unless it becomes airborne. According to OSHA, the water in cooling towers, as well as evaporative condensers or any system that uses a fan to move air through a recirculated water system, may be in the ideal temperature range (68°-122°F) for Legionella growth and amplification.

When water droplets containing Legionella evaporate, the bacteria is left behind and airborne allowing anyone breathing it in to become infected. Children, elderly and people with a weakened immune system are the most susceptible, resulting in flu- or pneumonia-like symptoms and even death. There are more than 3,000 reported cases of Legionnaires disease to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) each year, though the CDC believes the actual number of cases each year could be as high as 18,000.

Descaling to help prevent Legionella 

Legionella thrives in warm water, such as cooling tower water when the sun can heat it. Though UV radiation kills the bacteria, it can safely grow inside sludge, algae and even water scale deposits.

Getting rid of these deposits is crucial to eliminating the safe havens for Legionella to grow. Instead of shutting down your cooling tower or entire cooling system in order to clean, add RYDLYME Biodegradable Descaler directly into the basin of the tower and have it circulate through the system under normal operation. This significantly reduces the amount of labor and time needed to perform these cleanings.

Using RYDLYME also allows the ENTIRE system to be efficiently and effectively descaled and cleaned from the tower fill to the chillers! The safeness of RYDLYME on metals and materials on water-operated equipment allows it to be circulated throughout the entire system without the need of multiple products or mechanical cleanings. It is non-hazardous and safe for personnel to handle, and also has an NSF/ANSI 60 certification for potable water systems.

Be proactive 

Drastically reduce the chances of harboring harmful bacteria (e.g. Legionella), as well as maintain peak operating efficiency by being proactive in performing regular cleanings for your cooling tower system. RYDLYME offers a safe and easy solution to cooling tower cleanings, as well as any other water-operated equipment (e.g. condensers, boilers, heat exchangers).

If you have any questions regarding the use of RYDLYME in your cooling tower system, give me a call at 630-820-8888.  We can schedule a site visit or discuss how it can help you save money, as well as eliminate mineral deposits throughout your system where Legionella can thrive.  You can also visit our website at



« Back


Apex Engineering Products Corporation  |  1241 Shoreline Drive  |  Aurora, IL 60504  |  Tel: 800.451-6291 or 1.630.820.8888  |  Fax: 630.820.8886  |  Made in the U.S.A.

Web site design and development by
© 2019, Apex Engineering Products Corporation