Toolkit: Developing a Water Management Program to Reduce Legionella Growth and Spread in Buildings
Many buildings need a water management program to reduce the risk for Legionella growing and spreading within their water system and devices. This toolkit is designed to help people understand which buildings and devices need a Legionella water management program to reduce the risk for Legionnaires’ disease, what makes a good program, and how to develop it.
CDC welcomes feedback on this toolkit. Email RDB@cdc.gov with your thoughts and suggestions.
Legionella, the bacterium that causes a type of serious lung infection known as Legionnaires’ disease, grows best in building water systems that are not well maintained. Some water systems in buildings have a higher risk for Legionella growth and spread than others. Legionella water management programs are now an industry standard for large buildings in the United States (ASHRAE 188: Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems June 26, 2015. ASHRAE: Atlanta).
This toolkit aims to provide an easy-to-understand interpretation of ASHRAE Standard 188 to help building owners and managers evaluate the water system and devices in their building(s) to see if they need a program, and then develop an effective water management program if one is needed.
The toolkit includes:
- A simple yes/no worksheet to determine if an entire building or parts of it are at increased risk for growing and spreading Legionella
- A basic walkthrough of the elements of a Legionella water management program
- Scenarios describing common water quality problems and examples of how to respond to them to reduce the risk for Legionella
- Special sections and considerations for those who work in healthcare facilities
- ASHRAE Standard 188: Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems (ANSI approved)external icon
- Frequently Asked Questions: ASHRAE Standard 188
This webpage answers frequently asked questions about ASHRAE Standard 188, which outlines a legionellosis risk management program for buildings.
- ASHRAE Guideline 12-2020: Managing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systemsexternal icon
- Worksheet to Identify Buildings at Increased Risk for Legionella Growth and Spread
- Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease: A Training on Legionella Water Management Programs
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Requirement to Reduce Legionella Risk in Healthcare Facility Water Systems