According to the recent legionella report from Public Health England within the UK there were 72 reported/notified cases of legionnaire’s disease during October 2016. From these, there were 38 confirmed cases, this brings the total of confirmed cases with onset since January 2016 to 292*.
These figures show that legionella is cause for real concern and although many of these cases have been attributed to travelling abroad, legionella bacteria is common throughout the UK. A recent discovery of legionella bacteria within a nursing home in Somerset acts as a reminder to ensure you are aware of the legionella risks within your properties and are taking steps to minimise these risks.
There are many ways in which you can help reduce the risks of legionella within your property and it is highly recommended you consult qualified specialists to minimise the chances of a legionella outbreak within your property.
There are a few ongoing measures you should be aware of to help reduce the risk of legionella developing.
Temperature of water – As the optimum temperature for legionella bacteria is between 20-45°C it is important to monitor the temperatures within your system.
- - Hot water which is stored should be kept at a temperature of above 60°C
- - Hot water at an outlet should be at 50°C or higher
- - Cold water should be stored and distributed below 20°C
Avoid stagnant water – Stagnant water helps promote the growth of legionella bacteria, so it is important to minimise stagnation within your systems.
- - Avoid/remove dead legs within the system
- - Create a regular flushing programme for infrequently used outlets
Cleaning and maintenance – Dirt and debris provide a source of nutrients for legionella bacteria, promoting growth within the system.
- - Clean and de-scale shower heads and hoses at least quarterly
- - Water storage tanks should be drained and cleaned periodically checking for debris or signs of corrosion
- - Ensure storage tanks have lids fitted to reduce the risk of debris or contamination
If you would like to find out more about how to control your risks from legionella, Metro Safety have a team of water safety specialists who will be happy to talk you through your responsibilities and answer any questions you have. Call us on 0845 058 9999 or email an enquiry.