ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015 Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems
On June 26th, 2015 an ASHRAE standard was created providing details and guidance on preventing and minimizing the risk of legionella bacteria growth in water systems. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, and is being enforced by agencies that are directly involved with assuring the safety of building occupants.Unfortunately the standard does not provide a large amount of guidance
when it comes strategies and testing limits on how to minimize the risk of legionella bacteria. The standard instead focuses on the creation and implementation of a documented risk management process.Who Does The ASHRAE Standard Apply To?
The standard applies to any human-occupied building. It is intended for those who maintain, operate, design, build and/or manage building water systems (recreational, potable and non-potable). These buildings include but are not limited to the following:
- Multiple housing units with one ore more centralized heating units
- Buildings with more than 10 stories
- Healthcare buildings
- Nursing homes
Please note that the standard does not apply to single-family or small multiple-family residences (i.e. duplexes).Risk Management Process: Creating A Water Management Program
ASHRAE 188 calls for a water management program to be developed within every organization that falls within the scope of the standard. Below is a brief explanation of the minimal steps required to create a water management program;
- Establish a team responsible for evaluating the building water system and implementing a program to minimize risk.
- Illustrate the building water system, including in-depth descriptions and flow diagrams for each element of your water system.
- Establish areas of concern; those areas within your water system that show potential for high legionella growth.
- Establish control measures and limits, while deciding on how they will be routinely monitored.
- Develop methods for monitoring and the required corrective action in the event monitoring results vary.
- Ensure the system is running as designed and meets or exceeds objectives.
- Continuously document findings; this may require the creation of various review/analysis templates and checklists.
Please note that once the water management program is created it needs to be reviewed on a regular basis. Business demands may shift, causing a change in water requirements and a review of the program. Other factors, such as nearby construction projects and contaminated cooling towers, may require regular adjustments to your water management program.
*This is solely an overview of the standard, please ensure you read the full standard before proceeding with your legionella risk management program.