Legionella Management in Building Water Systems

Developments in State Policy




CitationVa. Code § 22.1-138

Available:  Minimum standards for public school buildings

Summary In 2020, the Virginia legislature established Legionella prevention requirements for schools.  The state Department of Education published guidance for implementing the requirements. 

Key Provisions:

Requirement for a Water Management Program. Effective July 2021, each school board in Virginia must “maintain a water management program for the prevention of Legionnaires' disease at each public school building in the local school division.”  The law further requires school boards to “validate each water management program on at least an annual basis to maintain the health and decency of such buildings” and to maintain and make available for review files related to the water management program, including the results of all validation and remediation activities.   

Other Specific Requirements. As required in the legislation enacting the new law, in 2021 the Virginia Department of Education issued "recommendations for the establishment, maintenance, and validation of water management programs to prevent Legionella pneumophilia growth in public school buildings.” The recommendations list the principles of effective water management program and include a statement that "all Virginia school boards and their school building maintenance operations (or an outside accredited Legionella testing laboratory consultant) shall comply with ASHRAE 188-2018." 


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