A proposed standard that specifies requirements to prevent legionellosis associated with building water systems is currently open for public review from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

The bacterium legionella can lead to a very serious form of pneumonia, referred to as Legionnaires’ disease, or Pontiac fever, which is a less severe form of the disease. There are many thousands of cases every year in the U.S. Essentially all cases of legionellosis are the result of exposure to legionella associated with building water systems.

ASHRAE standard 188P, “Prevention of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems,” is intended to address the “what” of controlling the spread of legionellosis. The standard helps facility managers and owners understand how to apply the available information on legionella effectively in order to prevent cases of legionellosis associated with building water systems.

“We know how to analyze and control this hazard,” said Bill McCoy, chair of the standard 188P committee. “We need a standardized practice to specify for facility managers/owners exactly what to do in their facilities to control the hazard in a systematic and scientifically defensible way.”

The proposed standard underwent an earlier public review in November 2010 and is currently open for a second public review until July 25. For more information, visit www.ashrae.org/publicreviews.