Water fountain in front of buildings

City’s Legionella prevention program recognized for innovation

October 5 2021 –

In conjunction with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), we have received the 2021 Innovation Award for Legionella prevention from the Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP). The EOCP is responsible for certifying the thousands of water and wastewater operators across BC and the Yukon.

Over the last year in Vancouver, half a dozen instances of high Legionella concentrations in building mechanical systems were detected and immediately remediated. In each instance, VCH was notified and used this information to verify they were not linked to any lab-confirmed illness. 

Protecting the public from waterborne health risks

Our Water System Operating Permit Program helps protect the public from waterborne health risks like Legionella. With a focus on compliance with safety standards and preventative maintenance and monitoring, these operating permits help health authorities and City staff rapidly identify and respond to incidents of concern. Since the program’s launch, it has gained much support from both building owners and the tourism industry with more than 1,100 systems registered.

Recognized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network as a leader in Legionella prevention, we have been contacted by jurisdictions across North America for guidance on responding to and preventing outbreaks. 

Water quality testing and reporting

Equipment owners are required to complete regular water quality testing and reporting, and obtain a water systems operating permit for the following systems:

  • Cooling towers
  • Decorative water features
  • Rainwater harvesting and other alternative water systems
  • Building water treatment systems

How to get an operating permit