Legionella is a waterborne bacterium which can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal pneumonia-like illness.
Legionella is a waterborne bacterium which can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal pneumonia-like illness. It is commonly found in the natural environment but when it enters manmade water systems it can grow and spread rapidly. For this reason, it’s important to assess the risk of Legionella in your domestic plumbing and be able to demonstrate to the authorities that sufficient control measures are in place to minimise the risk to health. Most residential properties are low risk and relatively easy to control. However, it is still very important that the risk assessment is done by a competent (i.e. trained and experienced) person and reviewed on a regular basis (at least once every two years)
Legislation requires everyone who rents out property to undertake a risk assessment for Legionella. Due to the changes to the legislation, it is likely that most Landlords have not had a Legionella risk assessment carried out for their properties. As such, it would be the perfect opportunity to address the items that are known causes of non-compliance alongside the risk assessment.
The extract below details the required action for Landlords and Estate / Letting Agents regarding Legionella safety as set out by the Health and Safety Executive.
Paragraph 2.138 – Landlords who provide residential accommodation, as the person in control of the premises or responsible for water systems in their premises, have a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to Legionella is properly assessed and controlled.
Paragraph 2.139 – Where a managing (or letting) agent is used, the management contract should clearly specify who has responsibility for maintenance and safety checks, including managing the risk from Legionella.
Paragraph 2.142 – Simple control measures can help manage the risk of exposure to Legionella and should be maintained, such as flushing out the system before letting the property, avoiding debris getting into the system (e.g. ensure all cold-water storage tanks are compliant with Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, setting control parameters (e.g. setting the temperature of Calorifiers to ensure water is stored at 60˚C) and removing redundant pipework to ensure stagnation does not occur in the domestic water systems.
Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold-water systems. The bacterium can survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 – 45°C if the conditions are right. At Evolution Air & Water Hygiene Services, we strive to identify any problem areas within a hot and cold-water domestic system which may encourage growth of legionella. Cold water storage tanks within properties are one of the most common causes of non-compliance within water systems, as it is often the case that they have never been cleaned or subject to routine monitoring. These tanks can often harbour debris, sediment and scale, which are the perfect breeding grounds for Legionella bacteria.
We use EAWHS for all of our air and water hygiene work and have done for many years.
We utilise EAWHS for their specialist water treatment services on a number of sites. They always deliver!
Evolution Air & Water Hygiene Services have worked closely with us on a number of projects in the south east, the service we are provided with is second to none.
Our ventilation system and water outlets needed to be tested and disinfected after some neglect. A full survey was carried out with explanations of problem areas showing clarity and good understanding
Specialist within the hygiene industry with a meticulous eye for detail, these are the reasons why we chose EAWHS every time.
EAWHS always exceed our expectations for the maintenance of our offices. Always pleasure, never a chore to deal with.
We are on hand to provide you with expert advice and support regarding your air and water hygiene.