After first gaining public attention more than 20 years ago, cases of Legionnaires’ Disease remain common throughout the world with more than 10,000 cases estimated to occur annually in the United States. “Guideline 12-2000: Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems,” published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (AHSRAE) (Atlanta), specifies environmental and operation guidelines for the safe operation of building water systems to minimize the risk of Legionellosis.

“The bottom line is we can actually prevent illness and save lives,” said David Geary, chair of the committee that wrote the guideline. “This guideline provides the engineering community with an opportunity to make a positive contribution to public health.”

ASHRAE Guideline 12 provides design/control measures for sources where Legionella can breed, including potable water systems, cooling towers, heated spas, and architectural fountains. The guideline provides control measures for hotels, office buildings, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, schools, and commercial and industrial buildings as well as centralized systems in multifamily residential buildings.

Designers, installers, owners, operators, maintenance personnel, and equipment manufacturers can use the guideline, Geary said.