Do I need to do anything?The control of Legionella Bacteria in water systems (L8) is only relevant in circumstances where the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 applies, therefore most domestic properties are exempt from this regulation. However if you are a Landlord you will be responsible to manage the risk of Legionella in your property.
What do I need to do?If you have a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, it would be wise in the first instance to start a Risk Assessment regarding all the water within and entering the building or buildings you care for.
What will a Risk Assessment do for me?
A Risk Assessment is the first thing you will need to do, it should log all the details of your water assets i.e. Incoming Mains Water, Water Cisterns, Water Storage, Water Heaters, All Outlets, Specialist Factory Equipment, Specialist Medical Equipment that use Water and Cooling Towers, in fact anything that uses water within your property.
Basic floor and pipe diagrams should show where your water systems are located.
The Risk Assessment should show Areas of Concern and a written scheme of works of how these areas of concern are to be managed.
A Risk Assessment should be able to show any visitor to your property in a clear and understandable way everything they need to know about the water systems within your property.
It is recommended that you get this undertaken by a specialist company as they will have software that will pull all this information together for you.
What if the Risk Assessment shows I have areas to be concerned about?There is no need to panic, a Risk Assessment may be all you need to show everything in your property is at the lowest risk it could be from Legionella growth. However, if the Risk Assessment shows areas where potential growth of Legionella can occur, a programme of works that will promote the best possible water hygiene should be implemented.
How do I implement a Programme of Works to manage my Legionella risk?Again there isn't any need to panic, the Risk Assessment should identify the key areas of concern. However do bear in mind that one of the key factors to Legionella perliferation is temperature (growth occurs between 20°c-60°c if below 20°c Legionella will remain dormant (i.e. will not proliferate) above 60°c Legionella will be destroyed). So a monitoring programme is advised to highlight areas of particular attention to trends or where improvements could be made.
Other good work and hygiene practices included (but not limited too) in your programme should be the descaling of water outlets every three months (high aerosols of particular concern) along with little used outlets to be flushed at least once a week (until a steady temperature can be maintained).
- Disinfecting Water Storage Facilities and Associated Pipe Work.
- Manually draining and cleaning Water Cisterns as required.
- Ensure all remedial works are carried out, for example ensure temperatures can reach outlets at 50°c either by turning up the Hot Water Cylinders (or Boilers/Water Heaters) or adjusting Thermostatic Mixing Valves.
Can I find out if my water system has Legionella?Yes, Water Analysis testing of a large array of test suites (including Legionella) of water systems at risk can be carried out by our UKAS accredited Laboratories.
From here recommendations can be made on how to eliminate or control the risk.