Since 2016, health departments are reporting over 6,000 cases of Legionnaires disease per year. This disease is a serious type of pneumonia, with one in ten persons dying with this infection. Inhalation of small droplets of water containing the Legionella bacteria causes Legionnaires Disease. Legionella bacteria occurs naturally in fresh water environments, and becomes a health concern when it grows and spreads in building water systems. The key to prevention is minimizing the opportunity of Legionella bacteria growing in our water systems. Senior Living communities can accomplish this by establishing an effective water management program.
Components of an effective water management program include:
- Establishing a water management program team
- Describing the building water systems using text and flow diagrams
- Identifying areas where Legionella could grow and spread
- Deciding where control measures should be applied and how to monitor them
- Establishing ways to intervene when control limits are not met
- Making sure the program is running as designed and is effective
- Documenting and communicating all activities
The success of your water management program is dependent on its implementation and on-going surveillance. Have steps in place to ensure all team members are knowledgeable in the program contents and are competently completing their tasks. To learn more about protecting your senior living community, reach out to the AssuredPartners Senior Living team.