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Pathogen Development in Water Heating Systems

Heating Systems

Water Heating System Laboratory:  NIST is developing a laboratory that will be used to assess different factors that lead to pathogen growth in hot water systems.  The laboratory will mimic typical residential water heating systems from the incoming main to end uses, with initial emulation being to a simulated bathroom.  The lab will be developed with the ability to sample water at different locations in the system for water quality measurements and will have a complete suite of temperature and flow measurement instruments to characterize the conditions that the water system sees.  The objective of the lab is to gather data to identify the impact of factors such as flow rates, usage patterns, water heater types, water heating temperatures, and plumbing configurations on the development of pathogens in water heating systems.  

Residential Sampling:   NIST is conducting a sampling plan at its Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility to examine pathogen growth in the plumbing system of a single family home.  This study will examine a home-run manifold plumbing system that has been used since the facility’s inception in 2012 and will gather critical data on the impact of different operational conditions on the presence of pathogens at different locations within a home’s plumbing system.  

Team Lead:  Tania Ullah

Created July 23, 2021, Updated August 11, 2021