Wisconsin - Legionella Prevention and Costs of Legionnaires Outbreaks

Historical Headlines Related to Legionella

September 21, 2023

In Wisconsin, the Eau Claire City-County Health Department says two cases of legionnaires’ disease were been found in an Eau Claire care facility. Both cases of legionnaires’ cropped up within three months of each other. The Health Department says that while they are not worried for the general public, they are concerned if they are noticing issues at a care facility. “Healthy people normally do not get sick from it. But those that we worry about most are people over 50 people who have chronic lung conditions, if they’ve been a smoker in the past or present, if they’re immunocompromised, those are the people that can become ill from the legionella bacteria.”


July 21, 2022

Wisconsin's Department of Safety and Professional Services approved IAPMO’s Water Demand CalculatorTM (WDC) as an alternate method for estimating building demand load. This includes the demand load for a building’s water supply and principle branches for one- and two-family dwellings in the state. WDC predicts peak water demand in buildings, reducing the carbon footprint of the structure and saving consumers on both their water and water heating-related energy utility bills. In addition, proper sizing of buildings greatly diminishes the potential threat of bacterial growth within the system that can lead to such serious health risks such as Legionnaire’s Disease. Water age reduction is one of the most significant aspects of EPA-funded research and is seen by many as an increasingly more important factor in public health and safety conversations. The WDC, by more accurately predicting peak flow rates, allows for smaller pipe sizes, which in turn likely reduces water age, according to the research. (Source)


Legionnaires’ disease continues to make headlines today. In 2019, parts of the water system at Christmas Mountain resort in Wisconsin tested positive for Legionnaires’ bacteria accorinding to county health officials.


In September of 2020 according to the Sheboygan County Public Health Department, two facilities were under investigation to identify possible sources of Legionella bacteria in their water systems due to an uptick in cases of Legionnaires' disease. Three people died as a result of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at UW-Madison Hospital in Wisconsin in 2018.

Reported Settlements and Jury Awards

Given the incidence of legionella in Wisconsin, and its associated harm, personal injury claims and litigation are also becoming more frequent. Reported settlements and jury awards are unavailable at this time.

State Cap on Jury Awards

Wisconsin does not have a cap on the award amounts allowable by law. In addition, public health notices and negative media attention can also lead to business interruption and reputation damage.

Groundwater Temperature Risk Level – Medium

Overall Liabliity and Risk for Wisconsin – High

No, ASHRAE 188 is not part of the state code

Legionella and Water Management Plan Assistance

Need help? For Legionella consulting and services, Water Management Plans, Legionella Control Systems, and Legionella testing please contact us at Legionella Control Systems at 888-416-8626 or info@legionellacontrolsystems.com

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