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ASHRAE Standard on Legionellosis Control Open for Public Review

ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers) has just released, for a 45-day comment period, their standard 188P — Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.  The purpose of this standard is to establish minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems.  The standard 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.  Recommendations and guidance on the design, maintenance, and operation of building water systems are provided in ASHRAE Guideline 12:  “Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems.”

One of the key components of Standard 188P is the development of a Water Management Plan.  The plan is required when buildings have open cooling towers, spas, fountains, etc.  Even without these features, plans will be needed for buildings containing certain types of health care facilities, buildings over 10 stories, or locations that specifically provide housing for people over 65 years of age.  The Water Management Plan includes an analysis of the building water system to identify hazardous conditions, determine control locations, establish control limits for these locations and monitor to assure the limits are being met.  Corrective actions will also be described as part of the plan, as will documentation and recordkeeping requirements.  These water management plans are essentially Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans by another name.

For potable water systems within the building, the standard covers system start up and shut down, maintenance, water treatment, and a contingency response plan.  Although drinking water regulations are not specifically addressed in the standard, that standard includes the caveat that “All water treatments required by this standard shall be applied in conformance with and comply with all applicable national, regional and local regulations.”  Operation and maintenance requirements for specific types of equipment such as cooling towers, whirlpools, decorative fountains, misters, etc. are also covered by the standard.  For certain health care facilities, a Legionellosis risk management plan and a “designated team” are also required.  Information is also included in the standard on selecting a laboratory for Legionella analysis.

The standard will be open for public comment until November 10, 2014.  The complete standard and details on providing comment are available on the ASHRAE web site.