Tips to keep your property safe from legionella.
If your property contains water systems and water related plant you have a duty to manage the risks associated with legionella. This is a bacterium, which given the correct conditions can develop and multiply. If the bacteria manage to become airborne they can cause potentially fatal legionnaires disease.
Legislation requires that a competent individual must be appointed to carry out a suitable and sufficient legionella risk assessment, in most cases this will mean bringing in a water safety specialist who has the knowledge and training to make a thorough assessment of the risks.
Although fully managing the risks requires in-depth knowledge and training, there are several key elements that can help reduce the likelihood of legionella developing within your systems.
One of the most effective methods of controlling legionella growth is with temperature control. As legionella bacteria require temperatures between 20℃ and 45℃ for optimal growth it is important that the water within your systems is stored at the correct temperature.
Hot water which is being stored should be kept at 60℃ (or higher) and should be at least 50℃ when distributed. It is important that the water is not too hot as this can create risks of scalding. Cold water should be stored and distributed below 20℃.
As water stagnation helps to promote the growth of legionella bacteria it is important to remove deadlegs or blind ends within pipework. Outlets which are not frequently used need to be flushed on a regular basis, helping to maintain regular turnover of water within the system.
Clean & Maintain
It is important to have an ongoing Scheme of Works or Management Plan to ensure you are effectively managing your legionella risks.
Cleaning and maintenance of water systems is an important part of this. As well as flushing infrequently used outlets, it is important to ensure they are clean and free from build-up. Water storage vessels should be kept clean and clear from debris and regularly checked for any signs of corrosion, formation of scale or bio-films.
To ensure you are fully compliant and are effectively managing your risks from legionella you should always consult a competent specialist.
Metro Safety have a dedicated team of water safety specialists who would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us on 0845 058 9999 or send us an enquiry.