If you have an existing Legionella L8 ACoP Risk Assessment and are compliant
- Where a building is required to be closed, the water in those buildings will become stagnant.
- Whilst the water stagnates, it grows coliforms and legionella bacteria cultures – hence the legal requirement compliance of monitoring the water temperatures and keep the water moving.
You should be doing your monthly water monitoring where possible, but if there is a complete lockdown this may not be possible.
When you are able to get back into the building, possibly after a few weeks or months, the water would have stagnated and there will be a risk of bacteria growth which is an additional risk to our immune system considering Coronavirus 19.
What you must do to get the water moving again:
- When you turn on the water, PUT A TOWEL AROUND THE TAP TO STOP THE AEROSOL OF THE WATER SPRAY AND ANY BACTERIA GETTING INTO THE LUNGS. FLUSH THE WATER FOR 4 TO 5 MINUTES THEN REMOVE THE TOWEL. It stops the water spray becoming airborne.
- Whether you can leave the building open or had to close the building you need to put a flushing regime in place. Do this every 5 days if you can access the building and record on the sheet. I have attached the flushing sheets.
If you are concerned about the cleanliness of the water, you can discuss this with myself and we can consider sampling, to an accredited laboratory for clarification.
Any additional on-site checks can be done after the lock down and this lockdown has gone when I can advise.
If you have not completed a Risk Assessment and are not compliant.
- Legionella Bacteria grows every 1.5 days. Four years ago, it was every three days.
- Legionella is a serious lung disease caused by a bacterium.
- Legionellosis – inhalation of contaminated water droplets and will appear where there are clouds of fine droplets.
- Legionella favours sludge, still water, scale, rust, rubber, bio film and algae.
- Legionella thrives in temperatures between 20°C to 45°C.
- Symptoms include high fever, chills, headaches, severe muscular aches, coughs, breathlessness, diarrhoea, vomiting, confusion, delirium.
You are legally required to complete a risk assessment and training as this is part of the L8 ACoP Legionella Control HSE 274 requirements. This risk assessment and training can be done with the help of the facilities manager on site. I will guide you through the building and give on-line training and the tools you require. I will then complete the risk assessment based on the information that has been given to me by the facilities manager to BS8580 standards. You are then compliant and safe.
Author: Dee Thornton, Valens Water