In early 2020, the ANSI has adopted important standards and certifications in the wake of the Legionella outbreaks since 1976. Most familiar is ASHRAE 188 -2018 Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems. Most recently, in April of 2020, they have adopted the ASSE (American Society of Sanitary Engineers) 12080 – Professional Qualifications Standard for Legionella Water Safety and Management Personnel.
With the global pandemic and variants of viruses being spread via aerosolized and aspirated droplets, water safety is more critical now than at any other time in our global history. Waterborne pathogens found in water systems include building sprinklers, water features, fountains, and delivery pipes. Anywhere water is stored, left to sit, or is used intermittently, or held in pipes is subject to the creation of biofilms. These hard-to-remove biofilms allow the bacteria to grow and multiply in a protected shell until eventually released and is aerosolized through various point-of-use devices.
Does this sound familiar?
People at increased risk of getting sick are:
- People 50 years or older
- Current or former smokers
- People with chronic lung disease (like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or emphysema)
- People with weak immune systems or who take drugs that weaken the immune system (like after a transplant operation or chemotherapy)
- People with cancer
- People with underlying illnesses such as diabetes, kidney failure, or liver failure
The number of Legionella cases reported to CDC has been on the rise since 2000. About 7.2 million Americans get sick every year from diseases spread through water.
ASSE/IAPMO/ANSI 12080 for Legionella Water Safety and Management Personnel
Understanding what is required to maintain a healthy and disease-free water system takes more than a regular application of chemicals. The ASSE has created a certification program that clearly defines a new standard:
“ASSE International product performance standards, developed through industry consensus, set minimum education and performance requirements for professionals who test, install, inspect and maintain our buildings’ water and sanitation systems.”
Why ASSE Certifications are Important for Water Safety & Water Management Plans
“As an advocate for Legionella prevention for more than 30 years, it’s reassuring and gratifying to finally have a standard that provides uniform and measurable Legionella knowledge requirements for water safety programs,” said Janet E. Stout, Ph.D., President of Special Pathogens Laboratory and member of the ASSE 12080 Working Group. “An ASSE-certified professional has been trained in the knowledge necessary to develop Legionella water management plans. Certification to the ASSE water management specialist standard means the job will be done right.”
Garratt-Callahan has been leading the challenge to provide the highest level of expertise and resources with an active role in the implementation of ASHRAE 188, and now in our commitment to having over 200 technicians certified under the ASSE 12080 program to reach far beyond Legionella.
Criteria for Certification: The ASSE 12080 certified specialist shall be able to demonstrate general knowledge of the following:
a. Legionella and Legionnaires’ Disease and Pontiac Fever
b. Other Waterborne Pathogens
c. Environmental Testing
d. Risk Assessment
e. Water Safety and Management Programs
f. Mitigation Approaches
g. Construction and Renovation
h. Case Investigation
i. Building Water Systems
Working with an ASSE 12080 Certified Professional is essential to safety and overall compliance.
Why you should work with the Garratt-Callahan Water Safety Management Team
Assessments and Recommendations
The Garratt-Callahan Water Safety Management Team will execute the proper protocol for the collection and testing of water samples and system analysis. Utilizing a third-party CDC-Elite Lab for testing, you can rest assured that there are no improprieties in obtaining fair and non-prejudiced results.
Consultative Approach to Risk Management
G-C Water safety and management programs include:
a. Risk management approaches for water systems.
b. Origin and scope of ASHRAE Standard 188.
c. Differences between guideline, standard, regulation and identify how each is related to Legionella management.
d. All elements of a water safety and management program
Why Expertise Matters
The Garratt-Callahan ASSE 12080 certified specialists have basic knowledge of building water systems, are able to plan, conduct, and advise on a risk assessment of a building water system, and have knowledge of local, state, and city risk assessment requirements and knowledge of mitigation and remediation methods.
Knowledge of environmental testing approaches for conducting a routine risk assessment, validating a water safety and management program, or as part of a case or cluster investigation. Describe the requirements for the environmental assessment in support of a case investigation.
In addition, your G-C certified specialist understands the impact of construction and renovation work as it relates to water safety.
Certifications to this standard are through the ASSE, a nationally recognized third-party certification body.
Understanding the Impact of a Trusted Partnership
Experience, expertise, and practical knowledge are essential to address water safety and the hazardous nature of pathogens and infectious diseases that play dangerous roles for commercial buildings, micro-communities, Healthcare, Food Processing, and many other industries.
Garratt-Callahan has over 116 years in this field of Water Safety and has maintained a deep-rooted commitment to client relationships built on fairness, honesty, and integrity. By thoroughly understanding customer needs, challenges and engineering solutions that work.
The one-of-a-kind ASSE 12080 certification and the overall ASSE Series 12000 sets minimum criteria for the training and certification of trades craftspeople and employers on safer methods to assess, control, and work in environments with potentially deadly diseases and how to develop water risk management programs for buildings.
The combination of the AHRAE 188 mandate and now the ASSE 120280 certification, completes a much-needed picture in the proper execution and qualifications to perform the measures required for overall building code and CDC compliance. The CDC describes the largest areas of impact as:
“The intended audience includes people who maintain and manage building water systems, including systems for potable (water used for drinking and showering), non-potable, and recreational water. This includes building owners and managers, as well as people who operate, maintain, and repair existing buildings, and people involved in the design, construction, and commissioning of new buildings. The standard may also be used by health departments or other governmental or regulatory entities to make recommendations about prevention of Legionnaires’ disease or in the writing and enforcing of local codes.”