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What's in Your Water? Prevention of Infection from Legionella and Waterborne Pathogens

Learn how you can minimize the risk of Legionella in your cooling tower water loop with a water management program.

What’s in your cooling tower water? Let's start by exploring Legionella and learn how you can minimize the risk of an outbreak with a water management program.

Legionella (the cause of Legionnaires disease) is a type of bacteria found in fresh water environments. Once Legionella finds its way into an enclosed environment, such as a building's cooling tower system, it can quickly multiply and spread throughout the building's water system. Contaminated water droplets that are dispersed into the air and inhaled can lead to the development of Legionnaires disease. The most likely sources of infection include water used for showering, hot tubs, decorative fountains, and cooling towers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year there are between 8,000 to 18,000 cases of Legionnaires disease, where 10% of these cases are fatal. With Legionella outbreaks in the US as recent as July of 2018, it is important that facility managers and water treatment operators understand the risks Legionella poses, along with tactics for a successful water management program.

Attendees will hear from Dr. Janet E. Stout, Legionella expert and contributor to the newly updated and created ANSI/ASHRAE standard 188-2018. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • What is Legionella and why is it a cause for concern.
  • The impact Legionella can have on your facility.
  • Review of the updated ANSI/ASHRAE standard 188-2018.
  • Understanding what you can do to prevent a Legionella outbreak in your facility - the creation and successful implementation of a water management program.
  • Review of available technologies that will help mitigate the risk of Legionella bacteria growth.

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A clinical and environmental microbiologist, Dr. Stout is recognized worldwide for more than 30 years of pioneering research in Legionella. Her expertise includes disinfection and control strategies for the prevention of Legionnaires’ disease and other waterborne pathogens.

Dr. Stout has authored more than 80 peer review papers and is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), Association of Water Technologies (AWT), and the Cooling Technology Institute (CTI). She serves on Legionella standards and guidelines committees for both ASHRAE and CTI.



As the Vortisand® Product Manager, Mike is responsible for the Vortisand high efficiency microsand filtration technology in both the commercial HVAC and industrial markets. Having worked for numerous water technology companies, Mike has led energy and resource recovery projects throughout the U.S. Mike holds a MS in Innovation management from Brown University and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.