Covid 19 – legionella risk in cooling towers

Covid 19 – legionella risk in cooling towers

Fluid Cooling Systems
Almeco legionella cool tower


Cooling systems are occasionally shut down. This could be a planned shutdown for maintenance, for example, or an unplanned shutdown, for example a crisis situation such as factories that needed to close due to COVID-19.


A standstill means standing water in pipes and basins, often ideal growing conditions for Legionella bacteria. Breathing aerosols or water spray containing legionella bacteria can cause legionellosis.


When using evaporative cooling towers, also known as wet cooling towers, water is evaporated to achieve cooling. This process can generate aerosols  which can, together with water vapor, be spread far into the environment. These aerosols can contain legionella bacteria and are therefore a risk.


Fortunately, that risk can be limited by a correct periodic maintenance of the cooling tower and installation and water treatment. Also, when starting up, different precautions must be taken into account as described in the Legionella Decree of 2007.


Almeco has many years of experience in cooling tower maintenance and can help you to reduce the risk of legionella.


Usefull Informations


More info about legionella on our site:


More info about maintenance of cooling towers on our site:


Agoria, the Belgian federation of technology companies, has written an article about it:




You can also find a lot of information on the website of the Flemish Agency for Care & Health (Dutch):


Also on the website of the Permanent Environment Health Unit of the Walloon Public Service there is information on this subject (French):