× You are not currently logged in. To receive all the benefits our site has to offer, we encourage you to log in now.

Meeting New Water Quality Mandates in Health-Care Settings


Hospitals and other health-care facilities in general require water to operate, and usually a lot of it. It is used not only in patient room sinks, showers, and toilets, but also in staff sink/scrub areas, wellness rehab areas, food service centers, public restrooms, and laboratories. Additionally, water drives many of the mechanical systems in a facility, including HVAC systems, fire protection, and domestic water systems, both hot and cold. All of this water is intended for good outcomes but can also be the primary cause of concern for unintended consequences since water can be a prime breeding ground for bacteria and disease if not managed properly. Waterborne pathogens can be a threat not only to patients but also to staff, visitors, and other people who come in contact with liquid water, vapor, or airborne spray in a health-care setting. One of the most troubling of those pathogens is legionella bacteria, which is the cause of Legionnaires’ disease (abbreviated LD or also called Legionellosis), which is a type of pneumonia that can lead to severe disabilities or even death. Its name comes from one of the first and most public discoveries of the condition, which occurred at a 1976 convention of the American Legion where a number of attendees (i.e., Legionnaires) became sick and/or died. The cause was ultimately traced to infected airborne moisture in the HVAC system of the hotel. Since then, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have investigated the condition at great length and tracked anywhere from 8,000 to 18,000 cases per year of people that have become infected in the United States. Obviously, they don’t all make the news, but the concern is real and significant in health-care settings, so much so that new standards and guidelines are now in place that are applicable to designers, facility managers, and health-care executives. This course will look at some of the concerns over LD, the requirements of standa rds related to controlling or eliminating cases and outbreaks, and some of the fundamental design implications related to water-based systems in health-care settings. (1 Continuing Education Unit) 


EDAC Course ID:
September 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018
Class Frequency: