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Published on Jun 4, 2012
"Impact of Electronic Faucets and Water Efficiency Guidelines on a Legionnaires Disease Outbreak in a Healthcare Facility" | Tim Keane - Legionella Risk Management, Inc.
This case study is of a healthcare facility less than a year old that had a Legionnaires' disease outbreak. Data collected from this Legionnaires' disease outbreak demonstrated conclusively the impact of very low flow electronic faucets on Legionella colonization. Sample sets obtained from electronic faucets, shower mixing valves and standard manual faucets showed statistically relevant results. The percent of samples positive for Legionella collected from each type of fixture were: 1. electronic faucets -- 61%, 2. shower mixing valves -- 13% and 3. manual faucets -- 0 %. In new construction there are a myriad of codes and guidelines resulting in dramatically increased potential for Legionella colonization and resultant outbreaks. These codes and guidelines are written by varying groups who may have little direct involvement in Legionella issues or may not be aware of the growing list of changes in regulations, design and product development that are compounding the risk of Legionella colonization in potable water. For example, hot water heater manufacturers, commonly use a full page in their operating manuals detailing the potential for scalding while never mentioning associated Legionella risk. Product manufacturers, plumbing system designers, code writers and end users need to be aware of the increasing risk for Legionella colonization as a result of design and operational impact related to: scald concerns, new product technologies and energy / water initiatives.