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  • Lisamarie Lamb

How To Deal With Legionella In Schools

Some businesses and structures are thought to be more vulnerable to a legionnaires' disease outbreak than others. Schools, universities, and colleges tend to be lower on the risk scale than facilities with cooling towers or those with ill, old, or vulnerable individuals present. However, managing legionella hazards in schools and other educational institutions is critical if you want to keep staff, students, and others safe from the impacts of legionnaires' disease.

Even if schools and colleges are considered minimal risk, individuals in authority must analyse the risk of legionella bacteria in the water systems under their control. Simple risk management and water system evaluation, typically in the form of a legionella risk assessment, provide an important baseline in helping to identify the potential difficulties that may be encountered by persons working in and utilising an educational facility.

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Carry Out A Legionella Risk Assessment At A School Or College

A legionella risk assessment is a good place to start since it is critical to understand where the sources of risk are. Anywhere that produces a water spray that can be breathed poses a risk. Similarly, taps, showerheads, and other infrequently used outlets are more likely to have a higher proportion of legionella bacteria.

Check Hot And Cold Water Temperatures

Legionella bacteria thrive at temperatures ranging from 20 to 45 degrees Celsius. According to the Health and Safety Executives ACOP L8 guideline on legionella control, water stored in and derived from your hot and cold water systems should be above 50oC after one minute for the hot tap and below 20oC after two minutes for the cold water, depending on its use and requirements.

Create A List Of Water Hygiene Tasks

Someone within the school or institution should also be designated as the responsible person to ensure that these duties are completed as needed and that risks are properly managed. For example, if any rarely-used outlets are detected during the legionella risk assessment, they should either be removed, which is the preferred option, or they should be cleaned out regularly to ensure bacteria do not have a chance to build up. Water temps should be taken at various sites on a monthly basis to ensure that all taps and other areas are covered over the course of a year.

Do Different Steps Need To Be Taken At Different Times Of The Year?

During the summer break, many schools, colleges, and universities are closed, with few staff and students present. This means that taps and other water outlets that are commonly used during other times of the year may be left unused for weeks, causing water stagnation and encouraging the growth of undesired bacteria such as legionella.

As a result, the legionella risk assessment should identify this and prescribe control actions to guarantee that the system is safe all year, not only during term time. During the Christmas season, additional flushing and cleaning steps may be required.

Contact Assured Water – Your Legionella And Water Hygiene Control Specialists

At Assured Water Hygiene, our water safety experts assist those in charge of controlling waterborne pathogens such as legionella bacteria in schools, colleges, and institutions. We provide professional water safety risk assessments, water testing, independent compliance auditing, legionella training, and other environmental risk management services to keep employees, students, and others safe.

If you have any questions concerning the issues addressed above, or would want to speak with one of our legionella professionals, please contact us.

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