RHP Risk Management’s certified industrial hygienists, public health scientists, and certified safety professionals have extensive experience in evaluating building water systems for Legionella bacteria.

RHP provides expert knowledge and works closely with clients to investigate buildings for the presence of Legionella bacteria and conduct investigations following suspected or confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease suspected to be associated with a building or water system. Our services include the development of water management programs (WMP) and the collection of routine or investigatory water samples in public buildings, industrial facilities, and residential properties. RHP is capable of rapid response for investigation of suspected cases or outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. RHP is also a legionella assessment and management plan support (LAMPS) partner.

Legionella is a bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments. When ideal conditions for bacteria proliferation occur, such as warm, standing, or stagnant water, the bacteria can multiply to much greater levels. Bacterial growth can occur in water storage vessels such as hot water heaters or water storage tanks as well as delivery piping or fixtures at end-point uses like showerheads or sink faucets. Standalone devices such as cooling towers, hot tubs, and decorative fountains can also harbor bacterial growth. When Legionella bacteria in a water system becomes aerosolized, a person nearby can inhale the bacteria contained within the airborne water droplets. This can lead to disease, such as Legionnaires’ disease which is a dangerous form of bacterial pneumonia, or a milder infection known as Pontiac Fever. Legionnaires’ disease can be serious and fatal. The key to preventing Legionnaires’ disease is to develop a proactive preventative strategy and proper maintenance of water systems. RHP’s experienced professionals follow regulations and standards to help manage Legionella related risks, including:

  • ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 188-2018: This standard provides guidance in developing a water management program (WMP) to reduce Legionella growth and spread in buildings. The standard was published by ASHRAE®, approved by ANSI in 2015, and updated in 2018 (Standard 188), “Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems.” By creating a framework for proactively managing building water systems and reducing the potential for Legionella growth in these systems, following this Standard can help building and facility managers prevent many of legionellosis. In addition, the CDC published an online WMP toolkit, which provides a simplified process based on key elements of the ASHRAE Standard 188.
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS): In June 2017 and revised in July 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memorandum requiring certain facility types (hospitals, critical access hospitals, and long-term care facilities) to develop water-management programs aimed at reducing the risk of Legionellosis attributable to health care facility water systems. The CMS memo references ASHRAE Standard 188 and the CDC toolkit as means for achieving compliance.

RHP has extensive experience in providing Legionella consulting services for commercial, public, and industrial buildings including hospitals, retirement communities, long-term care facilities, nursing homes, hotels, schools, factories, and resorts. Our services include the development and validation of site-specific water management programs following best-practice guidance as noted in ASHRAE Standard 188. In addition, RHP has assisted numerous hospitals and long-term care facilities with fulfillment of the CMS requirements to develop water-management programs aimed at reducing the risk of Legionellosis attributable to health care facility water systems.

When Legionnaires’ disease is suspected and reported, the implications to businesses and facilities such as large-scale casino resorts, hotels, VA hospitals, federal buildings, multi-residential properties, and municipal water systems can cause business interruption, brand damage, and panic. When presented with a suspected case or outbreak (defined by the CDC as two or more people), working with knowledgeable and experienced professionals can guide building owners and operators through an outbreak investigation. RHP has evaluated commercial, public, and residential properties in response to Legionnaires’ disease cases and outbreaks by working closely and carefully with clients to understand the diagnosis, develop a specific sampling strategy, collect water and/or swab samples, and provide recommendations for any necessary remediation or mitigation actions.

For further references and RHP White Papers on the topic, see: rhprisk.com/white-papers

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RHP Risk Management is a leader in the field of Industrial Hygiene, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Built Environment, Risk Management, Dose Estimation & Analysis, and Exposure Simulation Testing. Our highly trained and sophisticated team of professionals work together seamlessly on small and large projects. Our roster includes certified industrial hygienists, public health scientists, risk assessors, certified safety professionals, field staff, an engineer, an anthropologist, an economist, certified paralegals, and support staff.

We work with our clients to develop solutions to their most pressing concerns. Understanding exposures and risks through a grounding in a sound, defensible, state- of- the- art scientific approach gives our clients peace of mind. Empowered by a comprehensive understanding of exposures we can provide, clients are better equipped to recognize previously unseen business risks, manage known risks, target areas for control systems, comply with regulations, and to be braced for regulatory or litigation actions. Senior staff have served as experts in front of stakeholders, public, workers, regulatory, and State and Federal courts.