CHICAGO, Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Building owners across America are taking action to ensure their Water Management Plan (WMP) complies with standards such as ASSE 12080 and ASHRAE 188. But is that WMP on the shelf enough to protect from regulatory fines or lawsuits should someone become ill from a waterborne pathogen such as Legionella? Start the new year off with these great tips to actively manage water, ensure safety, and reduce potential liability.
"A WMP sitting on the shelf collecting dust isn't protecting your building from risk – that's as passive as it gets," says Brandon Gross, Earthwise Director of Water Hygiene. "Active water management means following the program and making sure the recommendations within it are implemented."
Here are his 6 tips for creating a more active water management program that will give you a more defensible position in the event of an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease.
1. Review your team roster. Make sure roles and duties are clearly defined and that everyone understands their responsibilities. There should be management staff on the team who have the authority to ensure accountability throughout the group.
2. Schedule your team meetings. Quarterly meetings to review logs and data need to be scheduled and having them on the books in January is a great start to staying active! While quarterly may seem like a lot, when you are actively managing all that data, three months of logs will be as much as you'll want to see in one sitting.
3. Review your control measures and limits and the justification for them. You cannot manage water systems well if your control measures are too lax. Review of legionella test results should also include a review of control measures, like disinfectant, so you can adjust and be better prepared in the new year.
4. Re-train all staff involved. A large part of protocol implementation is making sure everyone understands the importance of their role. If staff are simply told to flush the faucets, it may not happen. Understanding how they are helping to protect people will give it the importance it deserves.
5. Test for legionella. All the work put into maintaining the water system, logging data, and reviewing it regularly needs to be validated with testing to make sure the program works. Make sure that the testing is completed by an independent, third-party CDC Elite certified lab.
6. Schedule a proactive risk assessment and update your WMP. We tend to see plumbing as a static part of the building, but construction happens. As do broken fixtures, burst pipes, and other things that create new risks. Having an ASSE Certified Legionella Safety and Water Management Representative walk systems and identify issues will reduce the risk of outbreak.
Earthwise Environmental, Inc. encourages building management, whether in hospitals, schools, commercial buildings, manufacturing, or others to review their WMPs today, or reach out for help to prevent this disease from ruining more lives.