Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems
Legionellosis is a disease caused by Legionella bacteria, including Legionnaire’s Disease and Pontiac Fever. Legionella bacteria is naturally occurring in most water sources and may cause legionellosis if water droplets are breathed into the lungs.
In June, 2015, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)developed a new Standard aimed at the prevention of Legionellosis. It was created as a voluntary consensus Standard by a committee comprised of academic, industry and government subject matter experts. By creating a framework for proactively managing facility water systems and reducing the potential for Legionella colonization of these systems, the risk for legionellosis cases will be dramatically reduced.This Standard represents a significant development in our industry to prevent Legionella outbreaks caused by cooling towers, decorative fountains, domestic water systems in specified facilities and other water sources that are at risk for Legionella bacteria.What does ASHRAE 188-2015 address?
The new Standard, ASHRAE 188-2015, defines what types of facilities should have a water management
program and the minimum components of the program. It defines the aerosol-generating devices that
need to be controlled in order to prevent legionellosis transmission. It also defines who should develop the program and how often it should be reassessed.
The intended audience of ASHRAE 188-2015 includes persons who maintain and manage facility water
systems, including systems for potable, non-potable and recreational water. This includes facility owners
and managers, as well as people who operate, maintain and repair existing water-using systems and those
involved in the design, construction and commissioning of new facilities.
As a facility owner or manager, you are responsible for complying with the Standard and implementing a
Water Management Program (WMP) that will reduce the risk of legionellosis from water sources at your
facility. The WMP will include the following elements:
• Program Team
• Water flow diagrams
• Analysis of facility water systems
• Control locations and measures
• Monitoring – guidelines and control
• Corrective actions – remedial actions for variances to goals
• Verification – on site testing
• Validation – proof of program effectiveness – Legionella Testing
• Documentation – recording test results on line
What does ASHRAE 188-2015 not address?
ASHRAE 188-2015 does not provide guidance regarding target water parameters, including temperature and residual disinfectant target concentrations. In addition, it does not define how to perform emergency remediation or what to do if cases of disease are associated with the facility.
Doesn’t Jaytech provide a water treatment program that fits under these Guidelines?
Jaytech provides an effective cooling tower water treatment control program. However, this represents only a small part of the overall WMP. Back flow preventers, thermostatic mixing valves, water heaters on domestic water systems, showers and irrigation systems represent several of the risk sites that are incorporated into the comprehensive WMP. Jaytech can offer professional guidance on evaluating risk sites and will help validate the WMP through the coordination of Legionella testing. We can also contribute by participating as a partner in the WMP Team designated to the systems we treat.
How can Jaytech help?
Ask your Jaytech representative to show you the scope of a Water Management Program. Jaytech can help:
• Facilitate the understanding of a Water Management Program for your facility.
• Provide tools to document test results; thus, verifying control methods are being measured and recorded.
• Confirm the validation process by directing your facility to an Elite certified laboratory for Legionella testing.
• Participate as a partner of the WMP Team ensuring the cooling tower treatment program complies with the overall Water Management Program.
More information on Standard 188-2015 and WMPs is available at www.ashrae.org.