Legionella Managing The Risk in Buildings

Managing Legionella Post COVID-19 Lockdown

Legionella Risks Global outbreaks of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) have resulted in the compulsory closure of a number of large buildings such as schools, universities, leisure facilities and office blocks at a scale previously not seen. Now, as these buildings start to re-open after the imposed lockdown, there is a genuine risk that they could have become a breeding ground for another infection – Legionnaires’ disease (Legionella). The long periods of inactivity in buildings, a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, has greatly increased the risk of the Legionella pneumophilia bacteria developing in large water tanks and pipework. The bacteria survives in the biofilm that gathers on pipe and tank surfaces and likes to feed on the sludge and sediment that builds up there. Legionnaires’ disease, or Legionella as it is more commonly known, is caused by inhaling water droplets, via hot tubs, showers and … Read more

Shower head with water spray

Legionella Control in Hot and Cold Water Systems

Hot and cold water systems in buildings supply fresh water for cooking and cleaning and other functions such as heating. Systems that supply hot and cold water range in size scale and complexity. Water is usually distributed throughout buildings through a pipework system. Hot and cold water systems need careful management, particularly in public buildings such as healthcare premises to reduce the risk exposure to legionella. Legionella bacteria is responsible for Legionnaires’ disease, an uncommon but serious lung condition.  It can be caught by inhaling droplets of water from hot tubs, shower heads or heating systems. Temperature control of hot and cold water systems plays an important part in reducing the risk of legionella bacteria within the system. Where possible, cold water systems should be maintained at a temperature below 20°C.  Stored hot water temperatures should be at least 60°C.  … Read more