What Legionella Control Tasks Can You Carry Out In-House?
Legionella control is incredibly important, there is no doubt about it. You’ll know you need to have it in hand, but you might be concerned about the costs associated with it. It’s true that if you engage an external water treatment consultant and company to do all the work for you the price could certainly add up. The good news is that although for some aspects of legionella control you absolutely will need to have professionals helping you, there are some tasks you can do yourself which will drastically cut the costs assuming you have the time to do them.
Monthly Temperature Monitoring
When your stored cold water is at temperatures between 20oC and 50oC, you could have a problem when it comes to legionella since this is the ideal temperature for the bacteria to breed. Checking your temperatures at strategic points around the building once a month will give you an idea of where the problems might be occurring, and will give you a chance to change temperatures where possible, or organise additional testing if you’re concerned.
This is a job that you can do yourself. You simply need a temperature probe and some time. Once a month check the temperatures in your water outlets as well as the cold water storage tank and any hot water cylinders. Make a note of the temperatures so that you can spot any trends.
Quarterly Showerhead Cleans
Showers are amongst the worst places for legionella to grow because their disseminate water in an aerosol, and legionella bacteria is only dangerous to health when it is breathed in. Taking a shower in contaminated water is a dangerous activity indeed.
Ensuring your showerheads are clean is one way to minimise the risk. They should be cleaned and disinfected once a quarter, and this is another task you can do yourself. Whoever is going to carry out the job, whether it’s you, a building manager, a member or staff, or a cleaning team, they should have the right training and tools to do the job properly, so get this in place as soon as you can and keep your showers clean and safe.
Not all outlets are going to need to be flushed on a weekly basis; if they are used all the time and are in high traffic areas, they are already being flushed through simply usage. But if you have areas of the building, perhaps rooms that are locked up and unused or that are only used once in a while, that doesn’t get flushed, then you will need to do it. As you can imagine, hiring a water hygiene expert to come in and flush your outlets for you every week will be pricey, so doing it yourself in order to flush away any lingering bacteria and not allow the water to stagnate in the pipes is best.