New NSF training program safeguards against microbes, chemicals in building water systems

Feb. 13, 2014
The training will help safeguard against microbial, chemical and physical hazards Training courses will be held in multiple cities across the U.S. HACCP principles have emerged as a solution to water safety issues

ANN ARBOR, MICH. — Global public health organization NSF International has launched a new Building Water Systems Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) training program for water systems professionals. The training will help safeguard against microbial, chemical and physical hazards associated with premise plumbing, cooling towers and other water systems in buildings.

Training courses will be held in multiple cities across the U.S. Facility managers, water treatment, distribution and plumbing engineers, and occupational safety professionals can register here:

Every year, tens of thousands of preventable injuries and deaths are caused by exposure to microbial, chemical and physical hazards from building water systems.  Although municipal water is treated and distributed in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations and is safe for its intended use, microorganisms can enter plumbing systems, attach to the inside surfaces of pipes and equipment to form a biofilm and grow to much greater numbers. Potentially pathogenic microorganisms can then be released into the environment as infectious particles that can pose a threat to human health.

Applying HACCP principles to building water systems enables water systems professionals to prevent contamination from pathogenic microorganisms and other chemical and physical hazards by providing a framework for identifying potential hazards and specifying measures for control that ensure the safety of a building’s water supply.

“The application of HACCP to building water safety is invaluable for protecting the overall health, safety and well-being of the public,” said Clif McLellan, vice president of NSF International’s Water Division. “Such programs have proven effective for controlling the growth and dispersal of harmful pathogens and this training program will equip water systems professionals with the knowledge they need to apply these principles to their own building water systems.”

Although HACCP principles are best known for their successful use in food safety applications, they have also emerged as a solution to water safety issues. HACCP-based water safety programs developed by the World Health Organization have proved effective for preventing waterborne disease associated with building water systems. In 2010, a HACCP water management program was developed and implemented at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., yielding significant improvements in building water system safety.

William F. McCoy, Ph.D., and Aaron A. Rosenblatt, water systems experts with more than 69 years of combined industry experience, will teach the NSF HACCP for Building Water Systems training courses.

McCoy is co-founder and chief technology officer of Phigenics LLC, a solutions provider for problems associated with building water systems. He has published more than 100 scientific articles and eight book chapters on topics involving water systems and technologies, including a book entitled “Preventing Legionellosis,” which was published by the International Water Association.

Rosenblatt is a principal of Gordon & Rosenblatt LLC, an independent consulting firm specializing in oxy-halogen chemistry and chemical disinfection with an emphasis on public drinking water supplies and microbial risk management in building water systems. Rosenblatt holds more than 20 U.S. patents and is the author of a number of scientific and technical papers, primarily on drinking water disinfectants, disinfection chemistry and related EPA regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Companies seeking more information about the HACCP training program can contact [email protected] or visit NSF’s water programs webpage.

NSF International ( is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the water, food, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. All major plumbing codes require certification to NSF standards for pipes and plumbing components in commercial and residential buildings.

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