Rain and Gray Water Reuse Systems: The Hazard of Legionaries Disease

by T. Clark Lyons,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Watershed Management and Operations Management 2000


The Legionaries Disease is being more and more diagnosed. This infectious disease occurs when humans come in contact with the aerosol of contaminated water. The body of knowledge is growing rapidly over the epidemiology in normal water supply systems. The hazard of this disease from rain and gray water reuse systems is to a large degree unknown. This study has attempted to quantify the hazard potential of Legionaries Disease in rain and gray water reuse systems in single family dwellings. Historical data bases in Europe have been analyzed to provide a statistical representation of the type of water storage systems involved in the infection process. Data were used from several German States and neighboring European countries. The necessary environmental conditions for the survival and growth of the bacteria are described, particularly those conditions common to water reuse systems found in single family dwelling units and car wash installations. The statistical epidemiological data and the information on the water reuse system configurations are combined to produce a quantitative projections of the infection hazard. The European and German standards for these reuse systems are reviewed for their applicability to the prevention of the spread of Legionella. Construction details are presented to reduce the hazard of this disease.

Subject Headings: Diseases | Water supply systems | Public health and safety | Rain water | Water storage | Water pollution | Statistics | Europe

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