Newly-Released Research Discusses Preventing Legionnaires Disease in New York

Technical Paper Entitled "New York Legionella Regulations: Are They Missing the Boat" Calls for Broader Approach to Treating Legionella Bacteria

Feb 10, 2016, 15:53 ET from EVAPCO, Inc.

HOUSTON, Feb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sarah Ferrari presented new research to more than 150 scientists and engineers this week on the need for cities and states to adhere more strictly to industry and federal recommendations for treating building drinking water systems in order to prevent future outbreaks of Legionnaires' Disease.

Ferrari, a co-author of the building industry standard for preventing legionella growth, presented her paper "New York Legionella Regulations: Are They Missing the Boat?" and contributed to a panel discussion focusing on the importance of broader requirements to prevent future outbreaks. Ferrari is one of many experts who support state and local government consideration of building water regulations in line with federal health agency recommendations and the new industry standard from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.

The presentation was made at the 2016 Cooling Technology Institute Annual Conference in Houston. Attendees included engineers and scientists involved in the design, operation and maintenance of cooling systems, such as chemists, microbiologists and mechanical engineers.

"Forty years ago, nothing was known about the legionella bacteria and it was not even named," Ferrari said. "Today, we understand the environments in which it thrives, how it can make people sick and who is at greatest risk. We know that Legionella can be present in municipal water supplies and throughout the entire water system in commercial buildings, multifamily housing and hospitals, and the best way to prevent exposure is to maintain the whole building water system properly."

A large outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the Bronx in 2015 prompted New York to enact regulations on the registration and maintenance of HVAC cooling towers, which use drinking water from the building system to function.

This paper describes the fundamental characteristics of point-source vs. potable-water-source outbreaks and discusses the Bronx outbreak from those perspectives. It presents evidence showing that the measures taken by New York City will not have an impact on reducing the incidence of Legionellosis because they do not address the primary source of Legionella exposure, the building drinking water.

Sarah Ferrari is the Product Development Manager for Evaporative Condenser Technology at EVAPCO, a global leader in evaporative cooling. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology with a degree in Chemical Engineering. She also holds a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Sarah is an active member of the CTI Water Treatment Committee and contributes to related Standard Committees. She is also a member of ASHRAE and co-authored the recently published ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.

The full report is available at:

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EVAPCO, Inc. is an employee-owned global manufacturer of heat transfer solutions for the commercial HVAC, industrial refrigeration, power generation and industrial process markets. EVAPCO specializes in developing innovative solutions that are reliable, environmentally friendly and simple to operate and maintain. An industry leader in independent third-party performance certifications, EVAPCO products are designed to deliver high system efficiency with low annual operating costs. Headquartered in Taneytown, MD, EVAPCO products are now manufactured in 22 locations in 10 countries around the world and supplied through a sales force of over 170 offices. For more information, please visit