ASHRAE Publishes Standard on Risk Management for Building Water Systems

Long-awaited industry guidance on legionellosis is now available in a new standard from ASHRAE. The document establishes minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems.

“The industry interest and input into developing this standard has been tremendous,” says presidential member Tom Watson, chair of the committee that wrote the standard. “With 8,000 to 10,000 cases of Legionnaires’ Disease reported each year in the U.S., and with more than 10 percent of those cases fatal, it is vital that we set requirements to manage risk of this bacteria.”

Legionella can also cause a less-severe influenza-like illness known as Pontiac Fever. Most cases of legionellosis are the result of exposure to Legionella associated with building water systems, according to Watson.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, is intended for use by owners and managers of human-occupied buildings and those involved in the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service of centralized building water systems and components.

Specific requirements in the standard include:

  • Minimum Legionellosis risk management requirements for buildings and their associated potable and nonpotable water systems.
  • Establishment by building owners of a program team and (in turn) a water management program for which they are responsible in order to comply with the standard.
  • Provision of specific and detailed requirements for what Legionellosis control strategies must accomplish and how they are to be documented—but, does not provide (or place restrictions on) what specific strategies are to be used or applied.
  • Standard 188 consists of normative sections followed by normative and informative appendices. The normative sections and normative appendices specify the requirements to comply. The informative appendices and informative references are provided for guidance.

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