5 Questions About Water Safety in Schools
In terms of water safety, the COVID-inspired lockdowns revealed the perils of leaving schools unattended for extended periods of time. While most schools reopened when they were finally allowed to, several had to stay closed for longer in order to take extra measures and test for legionella bacteria, which might infect susceptible children and staff members and lead to the potentially deadly legionnaires' disease.
To protect everyone from a variety of aquatic risks, including legionella bacteria, it's critical to take precautions to maintain the general safety of the water in your school. We felt this would be a nice chance to address some of the questions our education customers have for us.
Do Schools Need To Flush Taps When On School Holidays?
Stagnant water with a temperature range of 20oC to 50oC is ideal for legionella bacteria growth. During the long summer holidays, when the school is almost deserted for six weeks and the weather is warm, germs thrive, including legionella. However, throughout the school year, there is enough activity to keep water moving throughout the system and keep dangers to a minimum.
In order to avoid stagnation and the potential for legionella bacteria to flourish, it is critical that all of your school's taps and bathrooms be flushed at least once a week over the lengthy summer breaks.
What Is A TMV?
TMV is an abbreviation for thermostatic mixing valve. It's a valuable safety device since it enables you to heat your school's hot water to 60oC (the temperature required to prevent legionella and other germs from developing) while preventing scorching when students wash their hands or take a shower.
TMVs are installed as close to taps as feasible and serve as a conduit for mixing hot and cold water, ensuring that hot water is at a safe temperature when it reaches the tap. If you have TMVs put on your property, they must be serviced on a regular basis. TMVs are not usually required, but if your school has very young children or children with particular healthcare requirements, they may be a helpful safety tool.
Who Should Test For Legionella In Schools?
Having a qualified professional do your legionella water testing is the safest bet when it comes to testing for legionella, and that's what Assured Water is here to help with. We send all water samples to a UKAS-certified lab.
Should Children Drink Water From Taps?
Because of UK standards, we have some of the cleanest tap water in the world, and it is safe for your pupils to drink from a water fountain or tap water. Water from the River Thames is safe to drink when it comes from the tap thanks to cutting-edge filtration systems, treatment, and rigorous testing. (However, it may not be your first pick.)
As long as your school does not contain lead pipes, water from the faucet at school will be identical to water from the tap at home.
Some people feel that bottled mineral water is healthier than tap water, however it would have gone through the same filtration and treatment as tap water before being bottled, so there is no quality difference. When it comes to environmental impact, however, there is a significant difference between bottled and tap water – the plastic bottles, packaging, and transportation involved in getting mineral water from the spring to each child's school bag is far greater, not to mention the fact that many of those bottles will end up in landfill or polluting rivers and oceans. If your pupils are worried about their environmental effect, you should urge them to utilise refillable bottles.
My School Has Lead Pipes, Is This Safe?
Lead pipes are a major health risk because lead leaches from the pipe and into the water supply. Lead poisoning can cause major health issues in children, such as exhaustion, gastrointestinal discomfort, hearing loss, and even learning impairments. A recent scientific study conducted by students throughout the nation discovered 14 schools with lead levels five times the permissible limit in their drinking water; these schools must now take immediate action to replace their lead pipes. Contact a plumber or schedule a water risk assessment if you have any concerns regarding the pipes that supply your school's drinking water.