Scaling UP! H2O

346 Revolutionizing Legionella Management: A 2024 Kickoff Special

Welcome to a groundbreaking episode of Scaling UP! H2O, where we delve into the innovative world of Legionella pneumophila management in evaporative cooling water systems. Loraine Huchler, P.E., CMC®, FIMC of Martech Systems, joins our host Trace Blackmore to unravel the complexities and share valuable insights from her technical paper titled: “Managing Legionella Using an Innovative Bacterial Control System and Rapid Genetic Legionella Testing.

The challenges of combating Legionella in cooling water systems are vast, but Loraine introduces us to a game-changing on-site, on-line, rapid genetic test method for Legionella and an ingenious plasma disinfection system (PDS). These advancements not only address the longstanding issues of ineffective biocide treatment strategies but also provide timely Legionella test results.

In this educational interview, Loraine guides us through the results of a comprehensive laboratory study conducted on a model cooling tower. She discusses the application of the on-site, rapid genetic test method for Legionella and shares findings from a subsequent study conducted on a cooling tower at a corporate headquarters of a medical device company. The documented validity of the results highlights the practical value of these innovative approaches.

Tackling key questions, Loraine provides practical insights into Legionella growth techniques, testing methods, biofilm management, and effective treatment strategies. Delving into the specifics, she addresses fundamental queries such as how to measure biofilm, assess treatment method effectiveness, determine Legionella testing frequency, and manage challenges like low flow or dead legs.

Throughout the conversation, Loraine maintains a positive and educational tone, offering not only valuable information but also actionable advice for water treaters worldwide. Her expertise shines as she shares conclusions drawn from her research and provides insightful recommendations for biofilm management and Legionella risk mitigation.

Curious about the key takeaways from Loraine’s study? Join us on the Scaling UP! H2O podcast to uncover the groundbreaking discoveries and practical applications that will reshape your approach to Legionella management. Tune in today for a journey into the future of water treatment.



01:00 – Trace Blackmore challenges you to set annual goals this January

08:30 – Upcoming Events for Water Treatment Professionals 

12:00 – Drop by Drop With James McDonald 
13:45 – Interview with Loraine Huchler P.E., CMC®, FIMC about her technical paper titled: “Managing Legionella Using an Innovative Bacterial Control System and Rapid Genetic Legionella Testing.”

44:12 –  Lightning round questions



“If you don’t have biofilm, you don’t have Legionella.” – Loraine Huchler

“Biofilm is insulating; it’s 4-5 times more insulating than calcium carbonate.” – Loraine Huchler

“I was surprised by the efficacy of the nonthermal plasma.” – Loraine Huchler 

“Dead legs are a known hazard for Legionella.” – Loraine Huchler 

“Biofilm causes a lot of health problems and increases your electrical costs.” – Loraine Huchler


Connect with Loraine Huchler P.E., CMC®, FIMC

Phone: 609.865.8151



LinkedIn: in/loraine-huchler

Twitter: @WaterTalk

Read or Download Loraine Huchler’s Press Release HERE


Published Articles by Loraine Huchler P.E., CMC®, FIMC

TP22-24: Managing Legionella Using an Innovative Bacterial Control System and Rapid Genetic Legionella Testing

IWC 23-33: Passivation in Steam Generating Systems

Operating Practices for Industrial Water Management, Influent Water Systems by Loraine Huchler

Loraine will be presenting her paper, Design Guide: Compatibility of Materials of Construction for Evaporative Cooling Water Systems, at the 2024 Annual Conference and CTI Expo in Houston, Texas. To register, go HERE.


Links Mentioned

Ep 345 Scaling UP! Relationships: Navigating the Waters of Connection

Ep 344 Toasting Triumphs: Reflecting on A Year of Water Wisdom

Ep 339 with Jane Kucera – Reverse Osmosis

The Rising Tide Mastermind

Scaling UP! H2O Academy video courses

Submit a Show Idea


2024 Events for Water Professionals

Check out our Scaling UP! H2O Events Calendar where we’ve listed every event Water Treaters should be aware of by clicking HERE or using the dropdown menu.


Books Mentioned


Operating Practices for Industrial Water Management, Influent Water Systems by Loraine Huchler

The Sum Of All Fears by Tom Clancy

Companions In Christ by Reuben Job

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

The 12 Week Year by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Reverse Osmosis: Industrial Processes and Applications 2nd Edition by Jane Kucera

Woke, Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam by Vivek Ramaswamy 


Drop By Drop with James 

In today’s episode, we’re asking “What if?” What if a cooling tower’s blowdown valve gets stuck open.  What would happen? Sure, the conductivity would probably start to drop. Would the cooling tower basin be completely drained? Why or why not? What is the size relationship between the makeup water line and blowdown line? Is there one? What could cause a cooling tower blowdown valve to get stuck open? How could you diagnose this problem remotely? How could you be alerted to this problem remotely? What would you recommend to recover from this situation? What would be the impact upon the water treatment program if the blowdown valve for a cooling tower got stuck open? Are some valves more susceptible to failure than others? In the event of an electrical failure, should a cooling tower valve be chosen that fails open, closed, or last position? These are some things to think about when asking yourself, “What if?”


Water Treatment education

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