ASHRAE Proposes Building Water Systems Legionella Standard

The second public review of ASHRAE Standard 188P will end July 25.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc. has a second public review under way of its proposed standard practice to prevent legionellosis associated with building water systems, with comments being accepted until July 25.

Legionella bacteria can lead to potentially fatal Legionnaires' disease. "There are many thousands of cases every year in the U.S.," according to the society. "Essentially all cases of legionellosis are the result of exposure to Legionella associated with building water systems.

ASHRAE Standard 188P, Prevention of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems, will help facility owners and managers control the spread of legionellosis. "We know how to analyze and control this hazard," said Bill McCoy, chair of the Standard 188P committee. "We need a standardized practice to specify for facility managers/owners exactly what to do in their facilities to control the hazard in a systematic and scientifically defensible way." The standard underwent an earlier public review in November 2010.

Since the initial public review, Section 8.1 on potable water has been rewritten. The section had included several system design specifications, but they were eliminated because Standard 188P is intended to be a practices standard rather than a design standard. The revised Section 8 clarifies this. "Compliance with the standard requires facility managers/owners to formally take responsibility for controlling Legionella in their building water systems, while at the same time acts as a defense against accusations of negligence in those cases which are caused by the hazard from unknown sources," ASHRAE stated.

The standard differs from ASHRAE Guideline 12, Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems. While the guideline gives recommendations about how to treat various building water systems, the standard specifies what must be done with those recommendations.

For more information, visit www.ashrae.org/publicreviews.

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