Legionnaire’s Disease: Making Building Water Systems Safer through Regulation


ASHRAE’s published Standard 188 provides minimum Legionnellosis risk management for building water systems. But governments don’t need to wait until an outbreak occurs to act. This is why we’re asking you, the chapters, to get involved by encouraging municipal, state and federal governments to adopt Standard 188 now. But how does one person tackle all this? With a little planning and support, anything is possible! Let’s start with the issue: Legionella, most often found in building water systems, can cause Legionnellosis, also known as Legionnaire’s Disease. Government officials need to be aware of how they can minimize the risk. Who’s in charge here? Who should you contact about the issue of Legionellosis? Sending a quick note provides another opportunity to build relationships for the future. state and local health department officials are a great place to start. Be sure to reach out to your elected officials to explain the issues. You can reach out to your members of congress, governor, mayor, the local code officials who are responsible for writing and enforcing codes, or health department officials What’s your goal? Figure out what’s doable. Is your goal adoption at the state, county, or city level? Or all of these? Always start with your chapters’ members since they may already have established relationships. Then consider contacting local industries or allied organizations like ASHE, AWWA, and CDC. They may already be on the case. Make a plan based on goals, allies, target audience, strategy like direct contact, letter writing, or social media. Seriously: Who’s in charge? Determine who will take the lead on outreach Be sure your coordinator can dedicate the effort and time for the campaign to be successful. Meet up! Get together with volunteers to outline what you’re trying to accomplish and the plan moving forward. Remember: This is a volunteer advocacy effort, not paid lobbying. Questions about this can be directed to ASHRAE’s Government Affairs Office Determine the players Who are your supporters? Do you anticipate opposition? Industry organizations like AHRI, IAPMO and CTI make great allies. Opponents may push for voluntary or partial adoption but it’s important to treat the whole building water system – not just components. Be prepared. Common opponents: Industry, organizations, members of the public, appointed officials Do it! Remember: Elected officials work for you. and remember ASHRAE staff is here to help you reach your goals As an ASHRAE member, you’re in a unique position to advocate for the built environment. We’re counting on you!

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