The Company recognises that as an employer it has a legal duty to monitor and control its water systems so that the Legionella bacteria cannot grow. This is particularly important for anyone with a compromised immune system. The elderly, the very young and people with pre-existing medical conditions are at increased risk in a Legionella outbreak.
The main method of controlling the growth and multiplication of Legionella bacteria in water distribution/ heating systems is to maintain the temperature of the water at a temperature range that the Legionella bacteria cannot readily grow.
A water temperature between 20-45oC should be avoided whenever possible. When water temperatures are in this high risk range (such as in cold water storage tanks), regular biocide additions may be required when the water temperature cannot be otherwise controlled.
All personnel carrying out the testing will be appropriately trained so that they understand the reason why they are carrying out these tests.
When testing water temperatures, the water will be taken as near to the source as possible (e.g. if sampling hot water, the tap nearest to the boiler or hot water tank).
The water will be run for a few minutes until the water temperature has stabilised at the sampling point (usually a tap or valve).
A digital thermometer will be used to check the temperature of the water. The thermometer’s accuracy will be checked monthly by placing the thermometer into boiling water which should register a temperature of 100°C.
Checks will be carried out on a monthly basis on all hot water, cold water and shower systems and the results recorded. Water systems that have been dormant for more that three days will be flushed before use and shower heads will be replaced on a monthly basis.
M C Naylor,
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