What is ASHRAE 188 and Why is it Important?
ASHRAE 188 is a standard developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) that outlines a risk management plan for Legionella bacteria and other waterborne pathogens in building water systems. Legionella bacteria can cause a serious respiratory infection called Legionnaires’ disease, which can be fatal in some cases. The bacteria can grow and spread in water systems, including cooling towers, hot tubs, showers, and fountains. ASHRAE 188 provides guidance on how to minimize the risk of Legionella growth in building water systems.
Why was ASHRAE 188 Created?
ASHRAE 188 was created in response to the increasing number of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 9,933 reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease in the United States in 2018. Of those cases, 5,038 were associated with outbreaks, and 116 were fatal. Many of these outbreaks were linked to cooling towers and other building water systems.
ASHRAE 188 was created to help building owners and managers develop and implement an ASHRAE 188 water management risk management plan to prevent the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria in building water systems. The standard provides guidance on risk assessment, water system design and operation, monitoring, and response to an outbreak.
What Does ASHRAE 188 Require?
ASHRAE 188 requires building owners and managers to develop and implement a risk management plan for Legionella bacteria in building water systems. The plan should include the following components:
- Risk Assessment: Building owners and managers must conduct a risk assessment of their building water systems to identify potential sources of Legionella bacteria and evaluate the risk of Legionnaires’ disease.
- Water System Design and Operation: Building owners and managers must design and operate their building water systems to minimize the risk of Legionella growth and spread. This includes maintaining appropriate water temperature and flow, minimizing stagnation, and ensuring proper disinfection.
- Monitoring: Building owners and managers must establish a monitoring program to detect and respond to any signs of Legionella growth or spread. This includes monitoring water temperature, disinfectant levels, and the presence of Legionella bacteria.
- Response to an Outbreak: Building owners and managers must have a plan in place to respond to a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. This includes identifying the source of the outbreak, implementing control measures to minimize the spread of Legionella bacteria, and communicating with affected individuals and authorities.
ASHRAE 188 also provides guidance on the roles and responsibilities of building owners and managers, as well as design and construction professionals, water treatment professionals, and health officials.
If you’re in need of someone to help you handle all of these steps, ChemREADY can help. We have Legionella professionals who are knowledgeable in not only handling Legionella, but also in creating water management plans to help protect you from the risk of outbreaks. Contact us today for more information.
Why is ASHRAE 188 Important?
ASHRAE 188 is important because it provides a comprehensive framework for preventing the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria in building water systems. By implementing the standard, building owners and managers can reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks and protect the health and safety of building occupants and the public.
ASHRAE 188 is also important because it is a recognized industry standard. Many states and municipalities have adopted the standard into their building codes or regulations. In some cases, compliance with ASHRAE 188 is required for building permits or certification.
Finally, ASHRAE 188 is important because it promotes collaboration among building owners and managers, design and construction professionals, water treatment professionals, and health officials. By working together, these stakeholders can develop effective risk management plans and ensure the safety and health of building occupants.
Updates and Review
The ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee (SSPC) 188 plays a crucial role in maintaining and updating the ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188, as it continually reviews and addresses maintenance proposals and public feedback. Through these efforts, the standard is revised every three years.
The ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2021 aims to guide owners and managers of human-occupied buildings, excluding single-family residences, as well as professionals involved in the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance, and service of centralized building water systems and components. The 2021 edition has improved upon previous versions by replacing permissive language with enforceable terms, easing its adoption for code and regulatory purposes.
The ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2021, titled “Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems,” can be found on the ANSI Webstore or ASHRAE Bookstore.
ASHRAE 188 is an important standard that provides guidance on managing the risk of Legionella bacteria in building water systems. Legionnaires’ disease can have serious health consequences, and outbreaks have become increasingly common in recent years. By implementing ASHRAE 188, building owners and managers can take steps to prevent Legionella growth and spread, and reduce the risk of outbreaks.
ASHRAE 188 is important because it provides a comprehensive framework for managing Legionella risk. The standard requires building owners and managers to conduct a risk assessment, design and operate their water systems to minimize Legionella growth, establish a monitoring program, and have a plan in place to respond to outbreaks. Compliance with ASHRAE 188 is increasingly being required by building codes and regulations, making it an important industry standard.
ASHRAE 188 also promotes collaboration among stakeholders, including building owners and managers, design and construction professionals, water treatment professionals, and health officials. By working together, these stakeholders can develop effective risk management plans and ensure the safety and health of building occupants.
In conclusion, Legionnaires’ disease is a serious health risk, and outbreaks are becoming more common. ASHRAE 188 provides guidance on managing the risk of Legionella bacteria in building water systems, and is an important industry standard. Building owners and managers should take steps to implement the standard to protect the health and safety of their occupants and the public. If you need assistance with preventing Legionella or handling an outbreak, contact us today at ChemREADY.