We are often asked to review, audit, improve upon, or otherwise comment on Water Management Plans (WMP’s) consisting of no more than a few pages of boilerplate text which, in reality, are actually NOT Water Management ‘Plans’ at all. Rather, they are simply Legionella control policies.
So, what’s the difference between a “Policy” and a “Plan”?
Policy (always a noun): a course, principles, rules, guidelines, etc., proposed or formulated by an organization, government, business, or individual, typically published or promulgated throughout the organization, in order to direct organizational behavior towards (or away from) a particular goal, objective, or condition.
Plan (both a noun and a verb): a detailed written account of intended present and future courses of action aimed at achieving specific goals or objectives, or controlling conditions within predetermined parameters, in order to achieve a desired outcome. Plans include the processes, procedures, and action-steps (verbs) needed to carry out the plan. It includes contingency plans for emergency situations (e.g., boil water advisories, brown water complaints, pressure losses, interruptions of service, outbreaks, etc.) In water safety, we call these action-steps: Control Measures.
The biggest difference between Legionella policies, versus actual water management plans is: policies typically lack the site-specific control measures found within genuine plans, which are vitally essential in order to help mitigate any specific building or system risks uncovered during a comprehensive on-site physical survey.
“How do I know if what I have is a comprehensive WMP or simply a policy document?”
Here are a few tell-tale signs indicating a “WMP” may not be a plan at all; it might only be just a policy document:
For assistance in controlling your buildings water borne pathogen risks, WMPs, Sampling Plans, Risk Assessments, accredited third-party lab sampling, audits, supplemental and emergency disinfections, consultations, or any questions, contact your Chem-Aqua Water Risk Management Service Group today at: 1-866-209-3373
Written by: Dominick Tuzzo