According to the study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine examined bacterial growth from faucets of two clinical wards within Johns Hopkins Hospital from December 2008 through January 2009. Their study included 20 manual faucets and 20 electronic faucets, all receiving water from the same source. Cultures obtained from the faucets showed that 50 percent of water cultures from electronic faucets grew Legionella spp. compared to 15 percent of water cultures from manual faucets.
Meeting participants reviewed the Johns Hopkins presentation based on the limited public information available and also heard presentations from Dr. Paul Sturman, P.E., from the Center for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University, who spoke on biofilms; Doug Erickson from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, who discussed the status of a project that is surveying hospitals on their use of electronic faucet systems; and Jim Mann, executive director of the Handwashing Leadership Forum.
The following conclusions and recommended actions resulted from the meeting:
“No matter what area of the plumbing community meeting attendees represented, there was one common focus from all: a commitment to providing plumbing systems that help protect public health and safety,” stated Jim Kendzel, MPH, CAE, executive director/CEO of ASPE. “It is our hope that this highly successful meeting will become a foundation for future positive, interactive dialogue among those groups directly impacting plumbing in North America.”
Organizations represented at the meeting include: Alliance for Water Efficiency; American Backflow Prevention Association; American Society of Plumbing Engineers; ASPE Research Foundation; Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating; Canadian Standards Association; International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials; International Code Council; Mechanical Contractors Association of America/Plumbing Contractors of America; NSF International; Plumbing Contractors Association of Chicago and Cook County; Plumbing Manufacturers International; Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors Association; and Underwriters Laboratories.