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NAPERVILLE, Ill., May 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Concern about injury and death from bacteria in pipes and fixtures in buildings and water scarcity issues, served as the major topic of discussion for leaders from around the world on May 6 and 7 in Washington D.C. Phigenics, a water management services company leading the call for greater industry awareness of standards for building water systems, hosted this leadership forum at The 2nd Annual Smart Water Leadership Summit. Free access to video recordings of all presentations and panel discussions are available at: www.smartwaterleadership.com.
"In the US, there are more deaths caused by bacteria in our building water systems than deaths caused by food related contamination and by HIV/AIDS," said Dr. William McCoy, a microbiologist and world renowned expert on preventing disease and injury from building water systems and CTO of Phigenics. "In many cases, commercial conflicts of interest have impeded progress, and where supplemental disinfection has been applied, regulatory requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act have been ignored."
"Even with the significant loss of life and costly lawsuits occurring around the country, most people are still unaware of the problem," said Ashton McCombs, CEO of Phigenics. "Bringing together leaders in the water industry to discuss and share management practices will improve the way we manage these systems. We must ensure that building water systems across the country are operated safely and cost effectively, and we must conserve water and energy."
Panelists in the discussion: "Healthcare Building Water Safety: Case Studies in Leadership" made a compelling case for HACCP - based water management as the new best practice standard for improving water safety and conservation. Furthering this call-to-action, Clifton McLellan, Vice President of Global Water Programs for NSF International stated that "NSF International is developing a number of related initiatives to improve the safety of building water systems built on the principals of HACCP. These include HACCP for building water systems education and training courses, HACCP standards to include certification and audit plans of buildings, and HACCP standards to include system and product design."
Leaders from the water efficiency community also echoed these sentiments and benefitted from the discussion about how to ensure water safety while also seeking to conserve water. "What was interesting about this summit for me was the emergence of public health as a concern in water efficiency," said Mary Ann Dickinson, CEO of the Alliance For Water Efficiency. "We always assumed there would be enough flow to take care of the pathogenic issues and there would be sufficient disinfectant in the water going through the buildings. Learning that these are important issues that we need to think about was an important eye opener for us."
Featured participating organizations in order of the agenda included: NSF International, Veterans Health Administration, Novant Health, Mayo Clinic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gordon & Rosenblatt, University of Rochester Medical Center, US Environmental Protection Agency, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, American Water Works Association, SETRI, US Green Building Council, Jones Lang LaSalle, Alliance for Water Efficiency, Kaiser Permanente, University of Arkansas, Walmart, InterContinental Hotels Group, Kohler Company, Alliance for Water Stewardship, and The Water Council.
This was an invitation-only event for professionals in facility management, infection prevention, EH&S, regulatory compliance, engineering, sustainability, corporate operations, microbiology, disease prevention, research, government policy and regulation, academia, and related disciplines. For more information visit: www.smartwaterleadership.com.
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