The genus Legionella is a pathogenic group of gram-negative bacteria that includes the species L. pneumophila, causing legionellosis (all illnesses caused by Legionella) including a pneumonia-type illness called Legionnaires' disease and a mild flu-like illness called Pontiac fever. Legionnaires' disease, also known as Legionellosis or Legion fever, is a form of atypical pneumonia caused by any type of Legionella bacteria. Over 90% of cases of Legionnaires' disease are caused by Legionella pneumophila. Legionella is common in many environments, including soil and aquatic systems, with at least 50 species and 70 serogroups identified.
CWQA's Position on it:
Legionella is an emerging and well understood pathogen that poses a greater risk today as we attempt to create policies for water conservation. This means that systems like cooling towers may be flushed out or blown down less often thus allowing these organisms to flourish unchecked in these environments.
How it impacts our members:
Water treatment for HVAC in buildings are a new avenue for our members. This line of service may be new but the theories and technologies for filtration and disinfection of water is something that CWQA members are intimately experienced with.
What is CWQA doing about it:
To support the development of enhanced disinfection and filtration programs for building HVAC systems, CWQA endorses the application of the ASHRAE 188 standard of practice.
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