Reopening after COVID-19: Ensuring Safe Water Supplies at the Building Scale
May 27, 2020 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to sweeping closures of public buildings, businesses, offices, and schools. With minimal water use, water quality in building plumbing can degrade and foster the growth of the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia. Legionnaires’ disease incidence has been increasing over the past few decades, and without appropriate water management actions, cases could increase sharply after schools and workplaces reopen. A panel of experts will discuss the state of knowledge for building water management to protect public health when reopening after COVID-19.
Ruth Berkelman, Emory University, moderator
- Chris Boyd, Building Water Health Program, NSF International
- David Krause, HealthCare Consulting and Contracting
- Andrew Whelton, Purdue University
Key questions for presentations and discussions:
- What are the water quality issues and related health risks associated with reopening buildings or larger office parks/campuses that have been shuttered or minimally used during the COVID-19 outbreak?
- Are there actions that could (should) be taken now to minimize current or future risk of water-related health risks?
- What guidelines are available for building owners and utilities? What are the responsibilities of various entities?
- What issues about best practices for water management remain unresolved relative to building recommissioning?
- What issues need to be addressed to improve implementation of current guidelines (e.g., communication, training)?