Legionella are a naturally occurring bacteria that can cause infections in humans if they are allowed to live and multiply in a building’s water system. Therefore, making sure your water system is sanitised and free of such bacteria is extremely important.
If left unchecked, Legionella can cause a serious and potentially life-threatening form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease. To prevent Legionella growth in your water system, it’s important to take a proactive approach to water management. This includes regular testing, cleaning, and disinfection of your water system, as well as ensuring that your system is designed and operated in a way that minimizes the risk of Legionella growth.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key steps you can take to address Legionella growth in your water system and protect the health and safety of your building occupants. From identifying potential sources of Legionella to implementing a comprehensive water management plan, we’ll provide you with the information you need to keep your water system safe and healthy.
Check disinfectant levels
Disinfectants such as chlorine, mono-chloramine, chlorine dioxide, stabilised silver hydrogen peroxide, and ultraviolet light can help regulate Legionella by killing enough of the bacteria to make your water system safe again. Disinfectants might even be able to eradicate the bacteria altogether for a short period of time.
In some buildings, processes such as heating and filtering can reduce the disinfectant levels in your water system, meaning that Legionella may be able to survive and multiply. Therefore, it’s important that you regularly check your system’s disinfectant levels and increase them if they are too low.
These checks will also help you to be aware of how effective your chosen disinfectant is and whether you need to try a different disinfection method.
Prevent stagnant water
Poor water flow and minimal usage can result in stagnant water within your water system. This encourages biofilm growth and issues such as rust, scale, sludge, and algae, as well as reducing water temperatures and disinfectant levels. Put simply, stagnant water and its effects on your water system create the perfect environment for Legionella to survive and grow.
It is important to identify the areas within your water system that might be prone to stagnant water and take steps to ensure this does not happen. At the very least, you should try to limit the effects of stagnant water from taking hold.
Check water temperatures and adjust if necessary
Legionella bacteria thrive in temperatures between 20°C and 45°C. They do not multiply at temperatures above 50°C or below 20°C and can be killed quickly at temperatures above 60°C.
In order to make sure the harmful bacteria can’t thrive in your water system’s temperatures, it’s important to keep cold water cold and hot water hot. This should ensure that your water is firmly outside the range of temperatures in which Legionella grow. They can still survive in these temperatures, however, so it’s important you keep them consistent and take other precautions against Legionella.
Carry out regular maintenance
Regularly using and maintaining your water system should help prevent it from becoming an ideal environment for Legionella. Frequent checks and maintenance – as well as generally keeping your property in great condition – can help you avoid things like rust, sludge, scale, and algae, all of which encourage bacteria growth.
Using all taps, showers, and other water-related appliances regularly can also reduce the chances of stagnant water in your system, which subsequently will also help you avoid the above issues.
How can H2O Comply help?
Worried about Legionella growth in your water system? H2O Comply can help. We provide everything from legionella risk assessments and monitoring to microbiological sampling. Our top priority is keeping your water system clean, safe, and compliant. Contact us today to find out more about our services.