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  • Lisamarie Lamb

Is There Legionella In Your Water Cooler?

Legionella… it’s certainly a word that is enough to make many of us recoil in horror. But it’s also a word that can cause confusion, and for those who aren’t in the know, it can be difficult to determine just what problems this particular bacteria causes, where it can be found, how to stop it from spreading, and how to get rid of it altogether (assuming that such a thing is possible).

For some, ignorance is bliss, but that’s not so great if you are a business owner and your employees or customers are being subjected to legionella within your building. In that case, ignorance is a very big fine, or even imprisonment. So it is worth your while to find out as much about legionella bacteria as possible; a good training session will definitely help, and engaging a water hygiene company for advice and to carry out the physical work involved will also be a bonus. There are many myths about legionella that can lead to unnecessary fear and expenditure.

Some of those myths revolve around the fact that legionella – as everyone is probably aware – lives in water. The problem is that this does not mean that it is a problem; it will depend on what water it is found in, and how that water is delivered into the building. Do you have legionella in your water cooler, for example? Maybe. Does it matter? Well, let’s look into that.

Legionella In Your Water Cooler

Legionella can be found in all kinds of water – it is even found naturally in lakes and rivers. It certainly likes to live within the pipes and water systems on buildings since the temperatures (between 20oC and 50oC) are perfect for breeding. However, just because it is in a river, a lake, or even a water cooler, that doesn’t mean it is going to be a problem.

Why is this?

The answer is because legionella is a bacteria that affects the lungs, and therefore in order to cause anyone to be unwell, it has to be inhaled in the form of a spray – it needs to go to the lungs. Drinking water with legionella bacteria in it is not going to hurt you, so unless you are planning to hook your water cooler up to a hose pipe and spray it around, the fact that legionella may or may not be in it shouldn’t actually matter.

UV Light

If you’re not comfortable with having legionella bacteria within your drinking water, there is something that can be done. The most effective way to target drinking water without using chemicals is to implement UV light treatment. The UV light damages the legionella so that it can no longer reproduce.

Other Systems

Of course, just because legionella in your drinking water isn’t something that needs to worry you too much, that doesn’t mean that having legionella in your building in general is something you can ignore. In fact, ignoring it is the worst thing you can do, and the problem will only grow – literally.

This is why having a legionella risk assessment and regular sampling carried out by a professional is the best step to take. If you would like to discuss pricing and to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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