Legionella & Water Management Webinar Recap

On Tuesday, December 5th, The Metro Group, Inc. hosted its first of many upcoming webinars that will be discussing and educating on subjects relating to Water Treatment, Water Management, and Boiler/Burner Efficiency Testing and Care. This particular webinar titled “Legionella & Water Management and Real-World Experience for Building Water Management Plans,” was a free webinar training that focused on the Do’s and Don’ts of putting together a Water Management Plan to reduce the risk of Legionella in facility water systems, based on the real-world experience of Metro’s water treatment professionals. The seminar was designed for the building personnel responsible for creating and implementing plans. Afterwards, the attendees left the webinar with an understanding of what a Water Management Plan is, where and how to get started with one, and how to stay in compliance with the various regulations and mandates, including the CMS policy for the Healthcare Industry and the New York State legislation for Cooling Towers and Potable Water Systems.

The webinar lasted about 45 minutes with time for a helpful Q&A to end the presentation. Overall, the high turnout and positive feedback will be useful for conducting webinars in the future. If you are interested in attending this webinar, an encore presentation will be held on December 21st from 2:00pm-3:00 pm EST.

 Who should attend?

• Building Owners & Agents • Facilities & Maintenance • Infection Control & EHS • Engineering & Operations Agenda: • Brief overview of Legionella • Building Water Systems at Risk • Water Management Plan’s, Defined • Current Legislation & Guidelines

Register at the link below:


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Recent Legionnaires’ Outbreaks

There is growing awareness, publicity and liability due to high profile legionella outbreaks.
Contact us to make sure your facility as a Water Management in place to reduce your likelihood of risk and liability.
Five Recent Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks:
1. Hospital plumbing system implicated in 46 cases, including 4 deaths. Forty-Six Legionella infections have been diagnosed among patients of a hospital in the Lisbon area of Portugal since October 31. Four of the patients have died. Portuguese health officials suspect the source of the outbreak was the hospital’s domestic (potable) plumbing system.
2. 15 Cases in Flushing, New York. Fifteen cases of Legionnaires’ disease were identified in Flushing, NY (New York City area) in October. NYC Health investigators tested several cooling towers and ordered disinfection of the ones in which Legionella was found.
3. Cases among Disneyland visitors. Twelve people who spent time in Anaheim, California in September were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. After Orange County health officials saw that 9 of the 12 had visited Disneyland, the park shut down and disinfected two cooling towers. Most of the 12 who contracted the disease were hospitalized. One of the three persons who did not visit Disneyland in the days before onset of infection has died. Information about the environmental and epidemiologic investigation has not been reported.
4.Five cases at a New York City assisted living facility. Five residents of an assisted living facility in the Bronx (New York City) Riverdale neighborhood were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease last month. All five recovered without hospitalization. Little information about the investigation or response was found in news reports except that additional chemicals were added to the facility’s cooling towers.
5. Potting mix the suspected source of 10 cases. Ten people in Christchurch, New Zealand were hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease earlier this month. Potting mix was reported as the suspected source. In New Zealand and Australia, Legionella longbeachae in potting mix is a major source of Legionnaires’ disease, accounting for approximately half of reported cases.

Why Do You Need to Test For Legionella?

Water Hygiene is the responsibility of Building Owners, Property Managers and Maintenance Departments to reduce the risk of Legionella in any water system with the potential for human contact. The recently ratified ASHRAE 188 standard establishes the minimum requirements for a buildings risk management plan. These practices have already made their way in to legislation and guidelines. New York became the first State to pass laws requiring that building owners and healthcare facilities develop a Water Management Plan. The CDC has issued a tool kit based on the ASHRAE standard to help facilities determine the best course of action to keep building occupants safe. And the CMS has issued a requirement that all hospitals take action to reduce the risk of Legionella in Healthcare Facility Water Systems. Regular testing for the Legionella Bacteria in water systems is a component of a successful Water Management Plan to verify the effectiveness of a Facilities control measures and demonstrates a pro-active approach to reducing the risk of Legionella contamination.


Does my Healthcare Facilities Accreditation require Legionella Testing?

Auditors with Healthcare Accreditation agencies such as The Joint Commission (JCAHO) will be looking for Water Management Plan documents as of June 2017. The CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), with the issuance of S&C 17-30, requires that all Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals and Long-Term Care facilities implement a water management program that includes control measures and environmental testing to reduce the risk of Legionella in any water system with the potential for human contact. Control measures may include temperature management, disinfectant level verification and visual inspections. Environmental testing refers to lab analysis of water samples to test for the presence of pathogens such as Legionella. Every facility is different, so consult with a Water Treatment professional to validate your facilities approach to Water Management and compliance with the CMS requirement.

Preventing Legionellosis

Preventing Legionellosis has risen on the priority list of Building Owners and Managers due to heightened awareness and unfolding regulations in parts of the US. Taking proactive steps to ensure water system safety involves effective planning, development of/adherence to a water management plan, and specific testing for the organism. While it is estimated that there are over 50 species and 70 serogroups of Legionella, community-acquired Legionnaire’s Disease is dominated by Legionella pneumophila, serogroup 1. Therefore, the laboratory selected to support implementation of a Water Management plan should not only be CDC Elite, but should employ methods that are statistically effective at detecting Legionella pneumophila, serogroup 1 with a high degree of accuracy in both cooling towers and potable water systems.