Legionella Control

Legionella Control in Water Systems

Legionnaires’ disease or Legionellosis is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. People may get infected when they breathe in tiny water droplets (aerosols) or droplet nuclei (particles left after the water has evaporated) contaminated with elevated concentrations of Legionella bacteria.

Legionella bacteria grow best between temperatures of 20°C – 45°C, with optimum growth temperature being 35°C – 40°C. High temperatures (minimum 60°C) usually kill the bacteria.

Legionella bacteria are found in low numbers in natural aquatic environments, for instance, lakes, rivers and ground water. As a result, it is virtually impossible to prevent Legionella bacteria entering man-made water systems.

In low numbers the bacteria are generally considered harmless. With the correct conditions, for example, warm water, the presence of micro-organisms and nutrients in the water or materials such as rust, these bacteria can grow and multiply to high levels which increase the risk of exposure.

The bacteria tend to grow in biofilms (slime). Biofilms are likely to form on surfaces where there is low water flow or water is allowed to stagnate. However the growth of Legionella bacteria can be controlled.

Your responsibilities

As a building or facilities manager or responsible person, you have clear responsibilities around the control of Legionella bacteria in your water systems. Specifically, you MUST:

  • Identify and assess sources of risk using competent help and advice;
  • Prepare a scheme for preventing or controlling the risk;
  • Implement, manage and monitor precautions;
  • Keep records of the precautions;
  • Appoint a person to be managerially responsible.

Legionella Control

HBE is a member of the Legionella Control Association. We provide the following services across Ireland to help the building manager to discharge their duties and obligations relating to the control of legionella bacteria in water systems:

Legionella Risk Assessments

  • Work is undertaken by highly qualified consultants to HPSC National Guidelines for the Control of Legionellosis in Ireland (2009) & HPSC Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection from Water Systems in Healthcare Facilities (Healthcare Addendum 2015)
  • Schematic drawings are always used
  • Priority of Risk
  • Soft & hard copies of Risk Assessments are produced
  • Risk Assessment access & management 24/7 through our Compliance Management Software System, HBE manager

Remedial Actions

  • Clean & disinfection of domestic hot & cold water systems, CWSTs (old or new)
  • Clean & disinfection of new mains pipework and reservoirs
  • Tank replacement programmes
  • Tank refurbishment and relining programmes
  • Pre-commission cleaning of pipework

Sampling, Flushing and Monitoring Programmes

  • Treatment and monitoring of closed circuits
  • Showerhead cleaning programmes
  • Deadleg flushing programmes
  • On-line dosing systems
  • Provision of either hard copy or electronic logbooks
  • Provision of technicians to carry out sentinel temperature monitoring & logbook maintenance
  • Remote temperature testing and remote flushing technology specialists
  • Bar-coding of outlets
  • Legionella, Pseudomonas and microbiological sampling programmes.

For more information about Legionella Risk Assessments and advice on how to implement a Legionella Management programme, call 1890 201018 (028 3083 9033 from NI) or email enquiries@hberm.com

The Legislation & Guidelines for Legionella Control

We adhere to and utilise the following documents when devising legionella control programmes:

Republic of Ireland Legionella related legislation

  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (No. 10 of 2005)
  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007 (S.I. No. 299 of 2007)
  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 1994, as amended in 1998 (S.I. No. 146 of 1994 and S.I. 248 of 1998)
  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations 2001, as amended in 1998 (S.I. No. 619 of 2001)
  • National Guidelines for the Control of Legionellosis in Ireland, 2009

UK Legionella related legislation

  • Health & Safety at Work Order (NI) 1978 (as amended 2000)
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations (NI) 2000 as amended 2003 & 2006
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (NI) 2003 as amended 2005
  • CIBSE TM13 – Minimising the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease
  • UK HSE document L8 – Legionnaires Disease, The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems: Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and Guidance (Version 4) and HSG274 Parts 1, 2 & 3.
  • HSG282 – The control of Legionella and other infectious agents in spa-pool systems (2017)
  • HSG220 – Health & Safety in Care Homes (June 2014)
  • HTM04-01 – The control of Legionella, hygiene, “safe” hot water, cold water and drinking water systems
  • BS8558 +A1:2009 – Design, Installation, Testing & Maintenance of services supplying water for domestic use within buildings and their curtilages.

UK Legionella related legislation

  • Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 as amended 2003 & 2006
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 as amended 2003 & 2004
  • CIBSE TM13 – Minimising the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease
  • UK HSE document L8 – Legionnaires Disease, The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems: Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and Guidance (Version 4) and HSG274 Parts 1, 2 & 3.
  • BS8558:2011 +A1:2009 – Design, Installation, Testing & Maintenance of services supplying water for domestic use within buildings and their curtilages.
  • HSG220 – Health & Safety in Care Homes (June 2014)
  • HTM 04-01 – The control of Legionella, hygiene, “safe” hot water, cold water and drinking water systems
  • Scottish HTM 04-01 The control of Legionella, hygiene, “safe” hot water, cold water and drinking water systems
  • BS 7592 – Sampling for Legionella Bacteria in water systems. Code of Practice BSI.

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