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ASHRAE continues work on Legionellosis standard

Nearly 40 years after Legionnaires’ Disease first gained public attention, the disease remains common throughout the world. As a result, ASHRAE says it continues to work on what would be the first set of standardized requirements specific to the building industry for management of the risks associated with amplified growth of and exposure to Legionella.

Standard 188P, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, currently under development, will aim to identify risk factors for growth and exposure along with measures to mitigate that risk. The standard will help facility managers and owners understand how to evaluate the design and operation of their building water systems to reduce the risk of Legionellosis.

Tom Watson, chair of the Standard 188P committee, said he is optimistic that a fourth public review draft, which has been substantially rewritten from previous versions, will be approved and made available during the summer.

“The new version of the standard will provide the building community with reasonable and practical methods to control exposure to the bacterium that could cause harm,” Watson said. “Effective design, maintenance, and operational procedures that avoid amplification and dissemination of Legionella are necessary throughout the life of a building to reduce the risk of the disease.”

Watson highlighted several changes that may be part of the upcoming public review draft. They include:

• Removal of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) terminology; some of the principles of the HACCP process may be included in the new draft

• Environmental Legionella testing considerations

• Revision of the standard to align with recently approved changes to the standard’s title, purpose, and scope, chiefly around systematic management of risks associated with potential exposure to Legionella

Watson noted that standards under development are not available for use by anyone and proposed language is made available during public reviews for the purpose of commenting only.

“We recognize there is much interest in this standard and its requirements,” he said. “However, as the committee moves forward with writing the standard, the provisions in the current draft are subject to change between now and the final published version. Use of the technical details of the proposed standard could lead to actions and expenditures being taken that may not fall under the final requirements of the published standard.”

To learn more about actions regarding ASHRAE standards, visit

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