ASHRAE Standard 188: The Industry

Standard of Cooling Towers

Test, Monitor and Minimize your Risk of Legionella

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has published a standard for preventing the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria. With this standard, new and existing buildings can implement several practices to test, monitor and minimize the risk of Legionella growth in their water systems.

 

We provide support for Legionella risk management in compliance with the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 188.

 

Organizations can voluntarily adopt these requirements. The aim of this program is to manage Legionella risk for all water systems in a building.

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Summary of the Requirements of ASHRAE Standard 188

FAQ

1. Put together a team

Identify the people responsible for developing and implementing the minimization plan.

 

2. Describe the systems and flow schematics

Describe the potable and non-potable water systems present in the building and create water system schematics.

 

3. Analyze the water systems

Identify where hazardous conditions may occur and where control measures can be applied.

 

4. Implement control measures.

Determine the locations where control measures must be applied and maintained to stay within established control limits.

 

5. Monitor and take corrective action

Establish procedures for monitoring whether control measures are operating within established limits, and, if not, take corrective action.

 

6. Confirm and verify

Establish procedures to confirm that the program is being implemented as designed and verify that it effectively controls hazardous conditions in all water systems in the building.

 

7. Document

Establish documentation and communication procedures for all preventive program operations.

WHAT IS THE NEW ASHRAE STANDARD 188?

A set of guidelines for preventing Legionella infection.

 

WHY WAS A NEW STANDARD RELEASED WHEN ASHRAE PUBLISHED GUIDELINES IN FEBRUARY 2000?

There was a need for specific guidelines to reduce the risk of infection, which continues to rise.

 

WHICH SYSTEMS ARE COVERED BY ASHRAE STANDARD 188?

ASHRAE Standard 188 covers all water systems, including drinking water in commercial and industrial buildings, HVAC systems, decorative fountains, etc.

 

  • Cooling towers

  • Closed loop systems

  • Evaporative condensers

  • Jacuzzis

  • Spas

  • Decorative fountains

  • Misters

  • Atomizers

  • Air scrubbers

  • Humidifiers

  • Ice machines

  • Other aerosol dispensers

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTING THE STANDARD?

The owners and managers of the facilities covered by the new standard are the ones responsible for ensuring that the standards are met.

 

WHAT IS THE LEGAL IMPACT OF THE STANDARD?

ASHRAE Standard 188 will serve as a reference point for Legionella minimization best practices and will have force of law when the standard is adopted into any building code.

 

WHAT IS NOT COVERED BY THE STANDARD?

ASHRAE Standard 188 does not provide guidance for targeted water parameters, such as temperature and disinfectant levels. It also does not describe how to take emergency measures or what to do if an illness is associated with the facility.

 

DO YOU HAVE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING?

  • Multi-unit dwelling with a centralized hot water system

  • More than 10 floors (including basement)

  • Health care facility where patients spend more than 24 hours

  • Building with one or more areas dedicated to accommodating and/or treating patients with burns, chemotherapy, organ transplants or bone marrow transplants

  • Building with one or more areas dedicated to accommodating and/or treating patients who are immunocompromised, at-risk, immunosuppressed, taking medication that weakens the immune system, or suffering from kidney disease, diabetes or lung disease

  • Building dedicated to accommodating people over 65 years old

  • Health care facility accredited by a regional, national or international agency or by an authority with jurisdiction over activities related to the minimization and control of infections

  • Health care facility with an infection preventionist certified in infection minimization and control and by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology or another regional, national or international certifying body; or a health care facility with an epidemiologist with, at minimum, a master’s degree or equivalent

 

For more information on the ASHRAE 188-2018 standard, visit ASHRAE’s official site.

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