Title: Emerging Waterborne Pathogens in Buildings' Premise Plumbing Systems
The aim of this lecture is to provide attendees information about the existing drinking water disinfectants and their efficacy against emerging waterborne pathogens, such as Pseudomonas and NTMs.
Alberto Comazzi, PhD
Awareness of Legionella and Legionaries’ disease by the public and the media has increased more in the last two years than in the previous two decades. One of the reasons this is happening is that, as reported by the Center for Diseases Control (CDC), the number of reported Legionaries’ diseases cases have increased by a 5x factor in the last ten years.
Numerous national and international organizations, including the EPA, the National Academy of Science, ASHRAE, AIHA and the CDC have published review documents, standards, and guidelines on how to mitigate and remediate the presence of Legionella in buildings’ premise plumbing systems. Most of these documents are addressed to healthcare facilities as the occupants of hospitals and nursing homes are the most vulnerable as they are often immunocompromised. In particular, the death rate of Legionella acquired disease in healthcare facilities is between 25% and 30% as reported by the CDC.
Despite Legionella is one of the most known waterborne pathogens, there are still other opportunistic microorganisms that present a threat to the public health, but that are not routinely monitored yet.
Beside good water management practice (flushing and temperature control) and point of use (POU) filters, the third waterborne pathogens control method includes water disinfectants. Lots of efforts have been made in the last decades to gather and review data about the efficacy of water disinfectants and disinfection technologies against Legionella but there is still not much data about the efficacy of such disinfectants against other opportunistic pathogens, such as Pseudomonas and NTMs.
The purpose of this lecture is to introduce and review emerging waterborne pathogens to the audience. The literature review will include the conditions that favor the growth of such pathogens, the actual threat to human life and the risk of infection in healthcare facilities.
The presenter will review existing data and case studies in the peer reviewed literature about the efficacy of drinking water disinfectants against emerging waterborne pathogens as well as present data from full scale applications, such as healthcare facilities buildings that has not been published yet.
The presentation will also educate the audience on the importance of Legionella and other waterborne pathogens monitoring and control in premise plumbing systems.
Dr. Alberto Comazzi earned a PhD in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Milan. Alberto is a member of the ASHRAE SSPC-188 and the AWWA premise plumbing system committees.
Dr. Comazzi currently works as Technical Director in Sanipur US, based in Philadelphia PA. Sanipur US distributes and provides technical support for the production and application of supplemental disinfectants for Legionella remediation in building utility water systems.