ASHRAE Legionella Standard Adopted in New York Following Outbreak
ATLANTA – With 12 confirmed dead and more than 120 cases of infection due to legionellosis, New York City Council on Thursday adopted legislation that requires adherence to part of ASHRAE’s newly published Legionella standard.
The legislation addresses registration and inspection of cooling towers. It requires owners to create and file a plan to maintain equipment to comply with Section 7.2 of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.
The standard provides minimum Legionellosis risk management requirements for the design, construction, commissioning, operation, maintenance, repair, replacement and expansion of new and existing buildings and their associated water systems and components.
“Standard 188 was published just two short months ago,” ASHRAE President David Underwood said. “Although the circumstances surrounding its use are tragic, ASHRAE is grateful that the standard is available to set requirements to manage risk of this bacteria. We are hopeful other governments will follow the lead of the New York City Council to help safeguard public health.”
Michael Patton, a member of the committee who wrote the standard, testified before the Council earlier this week on behalf of ASHRAE. He spoke to the Council’s proposal to adopt Section 7.2, noting that other sections also would play a role in reducing risks. Section 7.2 lists common tasks and steps for items such as new system start-up and seasonal shutdowns, general system maintenance, water treatment, disinfection plans, etc.
While Patton encouraged full adoption of the standard, he said it was helpful that at least Section 7.2 was included. Patton was thanked by chairman Jumaane Williams for making himself and ASHRAE available so quickly.
“Section 7 is very good by itself,” Patton testified, “but it doesn’t really address the whole idea of informing building owners, managers, property managers how to put a plan for a whole building into place and what it should contain.”
Underwood said ASHRAE will continue its work in getting the full standard adopted in New York City and in other locations.
Specific requirements in the standard include:
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment. The Society and its more than 50,000 members worldwide focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. More information can be found at www.ashrae.org/news.