Well…. why does a school need a code-blue drill? Or an emergency evacuation route? Or why do they house several fire hydrants across the property?
These things are all put into place in case of an emergency. Everyone is trained to be calm in potentially catastrophic weather events or suspicious grounds activity. School administrators and officials go above and beyond to keep students, teachers, and staff safe in their schools. They are ready for intruders, mishaps, and weather emergencies. So why do they almost always fall so short in preventing water emergencies?
We can think of two main reasons:
1. Legionnaire’s Disease and other water borne diseases are relatively new as they have grown exceedingly in the past several years.
2. Nationwide mandates for water systems have only just begun.
First of all... what is Legionaries Disease? Legionnaires’ Disease is a type of bacterial pneumonia caused by Legionella pneumophila, and occasionally by other species of Legionella. Illness in susceptible people can occur from breathing in tiny water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria. For a more in-depth look at this disease check out our Legionella 101 Blog Post.
This disease is no joke. After Legionnaires’ disease has been diagnosed, hospitalization is often necessary. In the most severe cases of Legionnaires’ disease, complications can include respiratory failure, kidney failure, septic shock, or even death.
Over the past two decades the amount of reported Legionella cases continued to grow. School administrators once may have believed they did not need to actively protect against waterborne diseases such as Legionella because it is so rare…. while that may have been the case 20 years ago, today that is certainly not the case.
Once Legionella grows, it needs a way to spread. Any source that generates aerosol or a fine mist of water has the potential to transmit Legionella. Places where this would be found in a school would include:
The second reason why school administrators and those in charge fall short in preventing water-borne diseases is the lack of official mandates in place nationwide. Several states have begun to hop on board and take a seriously close look at these directives.
Being PROACTIVE vs. REACTIVE should be the norm in protecting our children, educational faculty and staff as well as any outside visitors to our educational facilities.
Developing and implementing a Water Management Plan means you are helping to protect people from getting Legionnaires’ disease, a serious pneumonia.
Need even more reasons to implement a plan?
By thinking through and implementing procedures to address Legionella conditions now, school officials and building operators can help protect students, teachers, staff, and parents.
It is time to change the narrative in education.
Ready to take the first step?