The long-awaited ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems was officially published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) during their recent annual conference in Atlanta, GA. Globally recognized for its industry leadership in providing technical information, ASHRAE, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), develops standards for its members and other professions in the design and maintenance of indoor environments.
Created to reduce the occurrence of legionellosis in human-occupied, building water systems, this new standard addresses the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service of centralized building water systems and components to manage the risk of this bacteria. This standard has now been adopted nearly five years after it was first released for consultation.
Legionellosis is a waterborne disease that occurs after the inhalation of aerosolized water contaminated with Legionella pneumophila.. About 10% of the 8,000-10,000 cases reported in the US each year are fatal, due to respiratory failure, making legionellosis a very serious disease and its prevention a priority for authorities and the owners/managers of the human-occupied buildings. However, the CDC estimates that underreporting raises the number of cases to as many as 100,000 cases. Deaths likely approach as many as 8,000 a year, more than all the deaths from food-borne disease annually in the USA.
This standard provides essential guidelines for decreasing the risk of legionellosis occurrence associated with the contaminated water systems of the human-occupied buildings, recommending a preventative approach in all stages of building design, construction, operation, and maintenance.
Based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles, which are mandatory in food industry, the new standard is a very useful tool for the identification and analysis of each potential risk regarding the microbial contamination due to the water system by a management team. The ASHRAE Standard 188 lists the most important components of the water systems that can increase the risk of developing this devastating disease in residents or future residents.
The effectiveness of the HACCP analysis and plans in the prevention of food poisoning outbreaks represents a reliable basis for other domains, including the prevention of legionella transmission by contaminated water droplets. Following the HACCP principles and tools, the ASHRAE Standard 188 recommends that managers involved in the building water systems design, construction or maintenance to develop a preventive program for decreasing the risk of legionella associated with potable and non-potable water systems.
Compliance with the ASHRAE Standard 188 requirements involves:
The requirements of the ASHRAE Standard 188 enhance the development of a rigorous preventive program based on the experience accumulated with the HACCP principles. The implementation of the standard in a building construction project or in the management of a human-occupied building ensures all the prerequisites for the decrease of the legionellosis occurrence risk in the residents or future residents.
Click here to download a copy. The cost of the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, is $58 ($48, ASHRAE members). To order, visit www.ashrae.org/bookstore or contact ASHRAE Customer Contact Center at 800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide) or fax 678-539-2129.
Wondering how to get started with adhering to this new standard? Contact Blue Earth Labs today. In the meantime download the Blue Earth Labs guide to Legionellosis Risk Management
Photo credit: USDAgov / Foter / CC BY