2Chapter 0 Legionella in Water Systems
Safe water is taken for granted in Western industrialized societies. The right to a safe and abundant supply of drinking water for all U.S. communities is ensured in the Safe Drinking Water Act. The monitoring of microbiological and physicochemical quality indicators according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other standards provides the certainty that the water has suf cient quality for human consumption. This standard for drinking water quality remains unchallenged until recently, when drinking water was linked to outbreaks of infectious diseases. Man-made water systems have created public health problems, such as the sick building syndrome and Legionnaires’ disease. Numerous studies suggested that large plumbing xtures found in hospitals, of ce buildings, apartment complexes, and hotels, provided a reservoir with favorable growth conditions for waterborne pathogens. As water quality and distribution systems deteriorate, on-site supplemental disinfection systems may be required. Environmental engineers are often in a position to design disinfection processes for institutional water systems. This is a challenge for environmental engineers, and will require cooperation between engineers and facility managers for the successful control of these waterborne pathogens.