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When it comes to domestic hot water recirculation design, OSHA safety provisions and ASHRAE 90.1 energy efficiency requirements have put plumbing engineers between the proverbial rock and hard place.
In an effort to minimize the energy penalty associated with mandatory domestic hot water recirculation, ASHRAE 90.1 has created operational parameters for these systems. The problem is that these parameters are in direct conflict with OSHA’s requirements for Legionella prevention.
Legionella. It is a potentially fatal bacterium that for the most part has managed to fly under the radar of the general public since it was first determined as the cause of Legionnaires’ disease in the 1970s. Despite the fact that there are well-known techniques to prevent the growth of the causative bacteria, legionellosis (commonly known as Legionnaires’ disease) has taken the lives of well over 100,000 people in the U.S. alone. Furthermore, reported cases of the bacteria has risen 217 percent in just the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.