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  • Lisamarie Lamb

Lockdown and Legionella: What You Need To Know

It’s clear that COVID-19 has had a major impact on every aspect of lives over the last 9 months, and it looks as though that same disruption is going to continue for at least a few more. We can now see the light at the end of this long, long tunnel, but we’re not out of the woods yet (to mix metaphors nicely), and we do still need to be careful and follow the rules.

What does that mean for legionella control? Specifically, what does lockdown mean for legionella control? Yes, we’ve just emerged from one lockdown, but with rumours circulating that there will be another in January after the excesses of Christmas, it pays to be up to speed.

Empty Buildings

The biggest issue with regards to how lockdown affects legionella is the many empty buildings it left behind. One day we were working in offices and shops and restaurants, one day the children were in school, and the next we were told to stay at home. With barely any time to prepare, the buildings that had, up until that point, been used every day, were suddenly empty.

So what does that have to do with legionella?

Empty buildings mean that the stored water remains just that; stored. It’s not used, the cold water storage tanks and calorifiers aren’t being emptied. And legionella loves stored water. It lives there, breeds there, waits there for as long as it needs.

When the water starts to be used once more – when the buildings start to be used again and lockdown is lifted – there could be a serious bacterial problems (specifically legionella but general bacterial growth too) waiting in the wings. Or rather, waiting in the taps and showers and drinking fountains.

What To Do Next?

If the building you are responsible for is to remain empty for some time, perhaps because, despite lockdown being over, you’re in tier 3 or even tier 2 (as most of us are), or because those in charge are sure there will be another lockdown, or even because working from home has become the ‘new normal’ for your company and you’re just waiting to be able to give up the lease or sell the building, you still need to think about the legionella control of it.

It is at this point that a complete overhaul of your current legionella control programme would be a good idea. Speaking to an expert at Assured Water Hygiene means that this can be done effortlessly and seamlessly, and any new tasks that need to be added to the regime (or taken away if they are no longer necessary because tanks have been drained down whilst the building is empty, for example) can be discussed and organised. Although empty buildings might not be what everyone wants, at least you can take the time to really look into whether your legionella control regime is doing what it’s meant to do.

Contact Assured Water Today

Assured Water Hygiene has plenty of experience in legionella control – over 40 years of it, in fact. There is very little our experts don’t know about this important factor of health and safety, and if you need any advice or want to discuss your legionella control programme, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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