ARE YOU TAKING LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE
SERIOUSLY ENOUGH? THE SUMMER 2015 OUTBREAK
IN NEW YORK CITY THAT KILLED 12 PEOPLE AND
SICKENED OVER 100 MORE UNDERSCORES THE
DANGER TO YOUR BUILDING OCCUPANTS (AND
YOUR REPUTATION) IF LEGIONELLA RISK ISN’T
Because Legionella is a building water problem, health
officials agree that managing building water systems properly
is the key to prevention. Since last summer’s outbreak, laws
were established to require building operators in New York
State to create water management plans by March 2016 that
include cooling towers.
Take this opportunity to reduce your legal risk, protect
your brand and show leadership in corporate responsibility by instituting a water management program informed by
ANSI/ASHRAE 188-2015. This regulation-ready standard has
broad support for its Legionella prevention approach and
complies with Veterans Health Administration and World
Health Organization guidelines.
BY MATTHEW R. FREIJE
REDUCE LEGIONELLA RISK
However, ASHRAE 188 only provides a framework and
basic requirements – the rest is up to you. Your decisions can
impact the success and cost of your water management program for years downstream. Lay a solid foundation for success with these nine tips.
1) Understand Your Portfolio
Which properties should have water management plans
(WMPs)? For a multi-building campus, should all the buildings be included or just some of them?
A WMP can cover all the buildings on one site, but not multiple sites. For example, only one WMP is needed for a property with multiple buildings managed by the same personnel
even if the buildings are for different uses (e.g., healthcare
and office). But three buildings in different locations – even if
the buildings are similar in size and configuration and located
within a few miles of each other – will require three WMPs,
one for each site.
What about leased buildings? Deal with landlords and tenants as necessary to ensure control measures are implemented. You may need to ask (or require) tenants to maintain their
plumbing fixtures per your WMP. Otherwise, those areas
could not only present a risk to people in the tenant space but