Ensuring water compliance and Legionella risk management is essential for any facility that uses water systems, such as hotels, hospitals, and apartment buildings. Legionella bacteria can cause serious illnesses, including Legionnaires’ disease – a severe form of pneumonia.
This blog post will discuss the importance of water compliance and Legionella risk management, as well as the steps that can be taken to prevent the growth and spread of the bacteria. Adopting the following best practices can help ensure your facility is compliant with all regulations.
Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999
Developed to help businesses ensure that any new plumbing system installations or alterations to the current system that are supplied from the public mains are safe, efficient and of the appropriate quality. The water supply (water fittings) regulations 1999 legislation help to reduce the risk of waste, contamination and the risk of illness and disease spreading.
New Water Fitting Installation
Whenever new water fittings are installed in your place of business, it’s important to adhere to the applicable regulatory requirements. This includes notifying your water company ahead of time and making sure any work is done on time and up to standard. Failing to do so can lead to costly fines or other sanctions that could have been easily avoided. Taking the time to ensure all regulations are met prior to installation is essential for avoiding potential trouble down the line.
Pressure Testing New Supplies
Before connecting any new water system you have installed to the public water mains, it’s imperative that you perform a pressure test beforehand. During the pressure test, water is directly pumped into the system at set pressure and then monitored for roughly thirty minutes to survey any potential drops in pressure. This helps identify any possible leaks or faults within the system that cause cold water to escape.
In order to effectively kill bacteria within your water system, a disinfectant solution is circulated throughout your water supply system, ultimately killing bacteria and helping to improve the safety of your water mains. Your water system will undergo bacteriological testing to ensure and certify that your water system is satisfied to the expected levels. These tests are a requirement before any system can be connected to the water mains.
Legionella Risk Management
Legionella poses a serious risk to your water supply system and can be harmful to humans when exposed to it. Below are some of the key ways we can manage the threat of legionella bacteria in water supply systems:
All employers, landlords, and business owners must carry out a Legionella risk assessment to assess their water system and inspect it for traces of Legionella. This is essential for identifying and controlling potential risks of exposure to the bacteria, as well as regulating safe water temperatures in any system that stores or distributes water.
Any risk assessment should involve a systematic review of each point in the water system that may create the ideal conditions for legionella growth. It should also include inspection of areas such as hot tubs, cooling towers, or air conditioning systems, to determine if any parts are at greater risk for harbouring the bacteria. Any equipment used in these processes should be checked over thoroughly before being put into use.
Remedial Legionella Risk Management
Remedial work is carried out in response to any risk identified in the risk assessment. This will often include sanitisation of your system or any other changes you may consider necessary, such as “dead leg pipe” removal or complete tank replacement.
Monitoring and Record Keeping
In order to keep a close eye on your legionella levels you will be expected to monitor the system. This will often include a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule and water supply sampling to ensure the risk is contained.
How H2O Comply can help
If you’re worried about Legionella in your water system, H2O Comply can help. We provide legionella risk assessments and monitoring. Our experts are committed to keeping yourself and your water system safe, and making sure your property is compliant with all relevant regulations in the process. Contact us today to find out more about our services.