Naperville, IL - ASHRAE Standard 188P - Prevention of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems was unanimously approved for public review and publication in June 2010. The first public review of Standard 188P was completed in November 2010; there were many supportive comments from industry groups, professional people and from the general public. Already in response to this successful public review, major healthcare organizations have started to comply with the specifications in ASHRAE Standard 188P because final approval and publication is very likely and because the specifications are so practical and effective. The Standard specifies exactly what is required in order to prevent legionellosis associated with building water systems.
It has been estimated that the number of buildings in the United States covered by Standard 188P is 5 million buildings and that the cost to implement the Standard is at least several billion dollars. For Standards of this magnitude and scope, two and even more public reviews are often necessary. The second 45-day public review is expected to begin in 2Q 2011. The goal at ASHRAE is to complete the next 45-day public review, respond to all comments and move the Standard to publication before the end of 2011.
Other cost estimates associated with legionellosis in the US have been recently published: The CDC estimates that the average direct healthcare cost of each legionellosis case in the US is about $34,000 and hospitalization costs alone are several hundred million dollars annually. For every dollar of direct healthcare costs, about $12 are lost due to missed work, lower productivity, disability payments and associated costs. Therefore, the annual overall dollar cost to the US economy of the estimated 18,000 cases of legionellosis in the US is at least several billion dollars. Of course, dollar costs are but a fraction of the total real losses which can only be measured in terms of human suffering.
Phigenics is a water management company that partners with facility owners and suppliers to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and overall safety of all water systems. For more info go to www.phigenics.com