Legionella outbreaks peak nationally from June through September – Time to look at your WMP
March 22, 2019 –
While Water Hygiene is an ever-present need, the incidence of Legionella outbreaks peaks during the summer. That makes the spring a great time to review and revise your Water Management Plan.In line with current Industry thinking, we believe it is vital (and in some cases legally required) to have a Water Management Plan. At the very least, having an emergency contingency plan is a good stop gap while you complete a full WMP.
In a Water Management Plan, there are two basic approaches to controlling risk; On-going preventative measures and Post Incident response/Emergency Contingency planning.
On-Going Preventative Measures at the Point-of-Use reduce the risk of Legionella infection by filtering the water as it is leaving the faucet, the shower head, and the ice machine. The generally accepted filter size is 0.20 microns. That is small enough to control Legionella and other small organisms such as Pseudomonas.
Not every institution wants or needs to continuously filter at the Point-of-Use. In that case, they can plan to use Point of Use Filtration as part of their Emergency Contingency plan. In this situation, Point of Use Filters are deployed after Legionella has been detected, a patient is suspected of having Legionella related pneumonia, or some other disruption to the water system has occurred. Evidence that the internal water system has been contaminated can mean that residents must take sponge baths, drink only bottled water, and forgo any ice.
Point-of-Use filters as a measure to secure your ice machines, faucets, and shower heads, can be implemented quickly and with minimal effort.
AquaMedix provides long-lasting Point-of-Use filters that can be used on an on-going basis or as part of your emergency contingency plan. Our filters have a life span ranging from 31 days to 6 months (depending on feed water quality). They’re designed to fit right into your existing plumbing arrangements with a minimum of effort.
Ice Machines have existing filters, but by and large, they do not protect against small diameter pathogens like Legionella. They can be plumbed in many different ways which means responding to an emergency will take more than ordering filters. Since Ice Machines can be plumbed in so many different ways, it’s wise to document them with photos so that AquaMedix (or a Water Treatment vendor) can determine what size filter is appropriate.
Conclusion: This is a good time to review your Water Management Plan, and especially to document any special requirements for Point of Use Filters to protect your Ice Machines, faucets, and shower handles. Consider AquaMedix as a resource to help you with your planning and response to Legionella.
While Legionella has made the news for years, the 2015 ANSI-ASHRAE 188 standard put building owners on notice that they had to actively plan to protect their residents from Legionella. Statements from the CDC in their water management toolkit, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, have reinforced the need to have a plan in place to control the threat of Legionella. Let AquaMedix help you at the Point-of-Use whatever your plans may be.
Water Management Plan Resources:
The guideline that kick started the interest in Water Management plans – ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015
Here is a toolkit published by the CDC for controlling the risk of Legionella – Click here
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services statements on requiring a plan for Legionella – Click here
NY State Dept of Health Advisory on Legionella mentions of 0.20 micron filter – Click here