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Who Will Be Affected By Pending Legionella Standard


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that Legionella is not only the number one cause of waterborne disease outbreaks in the United States, it is also the most expensive, based on the average cost of a hospital stay associated with the disease.

For several years, ASHRAE has had guidance on mitigating legionellosis risk in commercial facilities. Currently in its fourth iteration, ASHRAE 188P, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, is on the verge of becoming a standard, with the public comment period having closed on November 10, 2014.

If adopted as a standard, it will establish minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems. Specifically, "it will require buildings or sites that have any one of a number of devices or risk factors to implement a water management program that includes a written document with certain components and Legionella control measures," says Matt Freije, founder and president of HC Info, a company that provides consulting services pertaining to Legionella control.

The standard would kick into effect if a building uses any device that discharges water in droplet form into the air, including:

• cooling towers
• evaporative condensers
• whirlpool spas (hot tubs)
• ornamental fountains
• misters and atomizers
• air washers and humidifiers

In addition, any of the following facility parameters would cause the standard to come into play:

• Multiple housing units with a centralized hot water system
• More than ten stories
• Housing intended primarily for occupants over 65 years of age
• Patients who stay more than 24 hours
• An area housing or treating people who are particularly susceptible to Legionella, such as those with weakened immune systems.

Find the full article on the latest version of ASHRAE 188P here.


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