You are on page 1of 1


This article was published in ASHRAE Journal, February 2018. Copyright 2018 ASHRAE. Posted at This article may not be copied and/or distributed
electronically or in paper form without permission of ASHRAE. For more information about ASHRAE Journal, visit

Legionella that these water sources be included saturation curve that there is no
Management for in the Legionella management plan, concern with condensation across
and that adequate maintenance of final filters, or elsewhere. The
Building Water the pools is implemented. AHU’s blow-through cooling coil
Systems Lan Chi Weekes, P.E., Member ASHRAE, and
Donald Weekes, Associate Member ASHRAE,
may then only be needed to sensi-
The column concerning Legionella Ottawa, Ontario bly “post-cool” the dehumidified
management in the November 2017 airstream a few degrees before it
issue of the Journal covered all of the enters the space. This cooling coil
typical locations in which this dis- Blow-Through vs. will run dry and eliminate any con-
ease can be contracted, but missed
one perhaps more recent location
Draw-Through cern with condensate removal or
mold growth.
that has proven fatal within hos- I always enjoy the ASHRAE Journal’s The cooling coil provides only
pitals. This piece of equipment is Engineer’s Notebook column, and sensible cooling capacity, which can
called a birthing pool and is located in particular anything written by be achieved at both higher supply
within the maternity wing. Stephen W. Duda, P.E. As usual, air and refrigerant temperatures,
There are several reliable reports January’s column did not fail to reducing compressor lift and saving
of this tragic and sometimes fatal please.  I would like to add a couple energy. It’s also quite possible that
occurrence such as those in a of additional thoughts with regard this system combination will elimi-
medical journal that I was read- to the “energy-efficiency” aspect nate the need for reheat, which is
ing recently, the Washington Post of analyzing blow-through versus the largest thermal energy con-
and The Guardian [UK]. The cause draw-through AHU configura- sumer in most traditional hospital
appears to be due to either filling tions, particularly in combination settings. When properly applied
of these pools too far in advance of with final filters for health-care in health-care applications, blow-
their use during the birth, or insuf- applications. through cooling coil configurations
ficient cleaning of the recirculating Mr. Duda points out the addi- can be a real winner.
David N. Schurk, Member ASHRAE, Houston
heater piping system. This infec- tional latent and total cooling
tion has also been reported when capacity required in draw-through
using domestic versions of this piece fan configurations when required The Author Responds
of equipment. to reduce the cooling coil’s leaving I very much appreciate Mr.
Peter Meridew, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
air temperature in order to meet Schurk’s kind remarks, and his
desired room supply air conditions technical additions to the ideas
The Authors Respond due to added fan heat. While addi- I presented are most welcome.  I
We are in agreement with the let- tional cooling capacity is definitely certainly concur that desiccant
ter writer that birthing pools in required, this also necessitates a dehumidification is important to
maternity wings of hospitals can lower refrigerant temperature, consider when the application calls
be a potential source of Legionella which increases the lift on the AC for low dew-point temperatures. 
bacteria, leading to possible adverse unit compressor and contributes For readers desiring more detailed
health effects among the hospital an additional energy penalty of its information about desiccant dehu-
staff and the mothers who use the own. midification, I recommend Chapter
birthing pools. As noted, the key to In hospital applications that may 24 of the 2016 ASHRAE Handbook—
the prevention of Legionella bacteria require very low dew-point tem- HVAC Systems and Equipment.  Thanks
growth in the birthing pools is to peratures, a desiccant dehumidi- again for the compliments and sug-
provide proper cleaning of the pip- fication component can be added gestions, and I hope you continue
ing system, and to ensure that the that will deeply dry the airstream to enjoy the Engineer’s Notebook
water in the pool does not become prior to any cooling coil or final series.
Stephen W. Duda, P.E, BEAP, HFDP, HBDP,
stagnant. For hospitals and other filter. This can move the airstream’s Fellow ASHRAE, St. Louis
facilities with pools, it is important condition far enough from the

6 A S H R A E J O U R N A L   a s h r a e . o r g   F E B R U A R Y 2 0 18