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  • Lisamarie Lamb

How To Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease At Your B&B

During the COVID lockdown, many showers in B&B bathrooms have been unused for several months. There is a high possibility that legionella bacteria are present in the system. If you're not flushing water through all the taps and showers on a routine basis, you should take precautions before welcoming back guests. The good news is, there are several things you can do to ensure your B&B is safe.

Why Do Anything?

With B&Bs sitting empty for months, we must all be mindful of the possibility of legionella in the water systems. This is a significant potential risk. Standing water increases the chance of Legionella bacteria collecting, which is especially dangerous in showers since legionella bacteria is spread in airborne water droplets, making the spray provided by a shower the ideal delivery method. Anyone who uses a polluted shower runs the danger of inhaling the bacteria and developing legionnaires' disease as the bug settles in the lungs.

What Can Be Done?

If you haven't used your shower in a week or longer, run two minutes of hot and cold water through the shower hose and showerhead. Run the showerhead through a bucket of water or a full bath to guarantee no spray escapes.

If no one has used your shower in two weeks or more, sanitise the showerhead. Remove the showerhead and run the shower for two minutes. Before reinstalling the showerhead, you should sterilise it by immersing it for at least an hour in any solution meant for cleaning infant feeding bottles (e.g., Milton). Showerheads should be cleansed at least four times a year.

Heat the water to 60°C or higher. Readings exceeding 60°C will eradicate legionella bacteria, therefore make sure the hot water in your heating system is adjusted to at least 60°C. Be cautious with burns and scorching, and take extra precautions if you have children. Legionella can live at cold temperatures but thrives in temperatures ranging from 20°C to 45°C.

If your property has been vacant for a time, cleanse the entire water system for at least two minutes. Flush your toilet first, then run the kitchen and hand basin faucets for two minutes or longer to allow both hot and cold water to pass through. Following that, flush the shower as mentioned above. Finally, leave any other faucets running for two minutes.

If you need any more information or assistance, please don't hesitate to contact Assured Water – we're experts in legionella control.

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