In February, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based NSF International announced it will host Legionella Conference 2018 — Managing Legionella and Other Pathogens in Building Water Systems. The event will be May 9-11 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Conference attendees will discuss and learn the latest monitoring, treatment and management approaches for preventing the spread of Legionella in buildings, hospitals and cooling towers. The three-day event is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and, according to NSF, is the first time experts from the industry, academia, public health, medicine and government will meet to discuss Legionella and other pathogens found in water-distribution systems.

There will be more than 40 speakers at the conference, including representatives of the EPA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state organizations and various technical, mitigation and plumbing groups.

“Prevention of Legionnaires’ disease is a complex challenge that requires a team-based approach to be successful as no single industry or profession can solve this issue on its own,” said Dave Purkiss, vice president of the global water division at NSF International. “The goal of the Legionella Conference is to gather together all the different stakeholders and a diverse group of experts and thought leaders to share ideas and discuss ways of detecting, mitigating and preventing Legionella outbreaks. We’re bringing together everyone involved in building operations — from building owners and managers to members of the engineering and HVAC communities, along with regulators, specifiers and government officials.”

In the last year, more than 6,000 Americans were diagnosed with the waterborne disease, which is caused by inhaling small water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria. According to a recent study by the CDC, bacteria responsible for Legionnaires’ disease are common in cooling towers throughout the United States. The CDC found that nine of 10 outbreaks could have been avoided if a properly designed and implemented water-management plan had been in place.

“The CDC’s outbreak investigations study makes clear that these are preventable illnesses and deaths,” said Chris Boyd, general manager of building water health programs at NSF International. “As an industry, we need to move from a reactive approach to a proactive model focused on prevention.”

For more information or to register to attend the conference, please visit