ANSI/ASHRAE STANDARD 188-2018 Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems provides minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for new and existing buildings and their water systems and components. The CDC estimates that between 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires‘ disease in the United States each year. However, only about 3,000 cases are reported to CDC each year.
Outbreaks have been reported in the news around the world from New York to Oporto, Portugal. Tech Times reported, cases of Legionnaires’ disease in New York, Illinois and California. “Along the Bronx in New York, 12 people have died due to the bacteria. In Illinois a veterans’ home in Quincy has reported eight deaths. Meanwhile in California, inmates at the San Quentin State Prison have also been infected.”
The Times reported that New York City enacted new regulations to prevent similar incidents. Among the new requirements, building owners are responsible for inspecting cooling towers quarterly. City health officials sent notices requiring disinfection of all cooling units within two weeks from the date of the notice.
ASHRAE GDL 12-2000 Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems provides specific environmental and operational guidelines to minimize the risk of occurrence of Legionellosis.
ASTM D5952-08(2015) Standard Guide for the Inspection of Water Systems for Legionella and the Investigation of Possible Outbreaks of Legionellosis (Legionnaires’ Disease or Pontiac Fever) explains appropriate responses for employers, building owners and operators, facility managers, health and safety professionals, public health authorities, and others: (1) to a concern that a water system may be contaminated with the bacterium known as legionella.