The Easiest Way to Comply With ASHRAE Standard 188
Keep your building safe from Legionella and stay ahead of government mandates with our simple water safety program.
The Importance of Waterborne Pathogen Control
According to the CDC, reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease have grown by more than five times since 2000. And while Legionella makes the headlines, there are other dangerous pathogens that can cause problems in your building's water systems.
Pathogen control is important for compliance with industry standards, maintaining your organization's reputation, and avoiding possible litigation. (The average cost of a Legionella claim is $11MM). Most important though, is the prevention of an outbreak that could cause severe illness or even the loss of human life.
Having a water safety management plan and the support of a trusted water treatment partner is critical to protect your facility and the people inside. We can help.
Is Your Building At Risk for Legionella?
The simple truth is that every building with indoor plumbing can harbor Legionella, and no amount of Legionella growth is safe. Still, there are certain factors that put you at greater risk including:
- Building size – 10 stories or higher
- Building features – centralized hot water, cooling towers, decorative fountains, hot tubs, etc.
- Building occupants – age and health factors
The Legionella bacteria exists naturally in freshwater sources such as lakes and streams, but once it enters a closed water system, it can grow and pose a serious threat to the people in your building.
Cooling towers, expansion tanks, water filters, shower heads and hoses, pipes, valves, and fittings are common locations for Legionella growth.
What Causes Legionella to grow?
There are many variables that can cause it to grow inside of pipes and equipment, including fluctuations in pH levels, water temperature, stagnant zones, and insufficient levels of disinfectant. External factors such as water main breaks, construction in or around your building, or changes in municipal water supply can cause Legionella growth as well.
And where there's Legionella, there could be other waterborne pathogens present such as:
While any building can be at risk for Legionella, certain facilities need to be especially vigilant:
Nursing Homes/Long-term Care Facilities
These types of facilities typically house more fragile populations, many with underlying conditions and compromised immune systems. Patients and residents in these facilities are at much higher risk when exposed to Legionella.
The presence of the Legionella bacteria in closed water systems can cause:
- Legionnaires' disease, a severe form of pneumonia
- Pontiac fever, a milder illness resembling the flu
It's important to have a clear understanding of the risks of Legionella, what causes it to grow, and how to prevent it. Check out our Legionella Resource Kit for more information.
Preventing Legionella and Waterborne Pathogens
The prevention of waterborne pathogens, including Legionella, requires a water safety management plan for your facility, and a team in place to get the work done and keep the plan on track.
While all water safety plans should be customized to the needs and challenges of individual facilities, most plans include these eight initial steps:
- 1. Formation of a water safety team
- 2. Creation of a water safety management plan and a Legionella prevention plan
- 3. Taking water samples
- 4. Monitoring of disinfectant levels
- 5. Keeping hot water pipes at higher temperatures than Legionella can grow
- 6. Frequent inspection of cooling towers
- 7. Elimination of stagnant water
- 8. Prevention of scale, slime and biofilm
Your operations staff may be able to handle some of these tasks, but it's a good idea to work with a water treatment partner with extensive experience preventing, mitigating and controlling waterborne pathogens. A water treatment expert can help you avoid commonly made mistakes, uncover areas of your facility that need closer monitoring, and keep you compliant with water safety standards for your industry.
HOH can jumpstart your water safety strategy with our 3-Step Approach:
ASHRAE Compliance Made Easy
SafePath188, our water safety management program, is a simple, smart way to meet industry standards for safe water and ensure full compliance with ASHRAE Standard 188.
HOH water safety professionals created SafePath188 to provide practical, step-by-step guidance in the planning, documentation, and implementation of a facility-wide risk management program for all water systems.
With SafePath188 you can:
- Eliminate compliance headaches
- Simplify planning and documentation
- Implement turnkey testing and treatment
- Get lightning-fast emergency response
Take the guesswork and hassle out of pathogen control and compliance.
Expert Support for All Your Water Systems
HOH has a full suite of capabilities to make your water work for you. We'll walk you through every step of water safety management, help you select the right treatment program, provide data and reporting to give you high visibility into your water systems and equipment, and respond quickly in an emergency.
The Right ChemistrySecondary disinfection and filtration create water conditions that minimize the growth and spread of waterborne pathogens.
The Right ControlOngoing monitoring for waterborne pathogens ensures that safe water conditions are consistently maintained.
The Right ServiceWe are on-site regularly to help you implement your Water Safety Plan and respond if problems occur.
Water Safety Management Programs That Work
Many facilities are aware that they need to reduce the risk of Legionella in their building water systems, but don't know where to start or how to get it done.
They struggle with:
- Budgets and pricing
- Chemical use and tactics
We've helped thousands of building managers and operations teams keep their water safe and prevent problems for more than fifty years and counting. We can visit your facility, and meet with your team to develop a customized water management plan that addresses all of your compliance, safety and performance challenges.