HCS, part of PTSG Water Treatment Ltd, has issued advice for building owners in the wake of July’s heatwave.
July saw temperatures rise above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time in the UK, with 34.8 degrees Celsius recorded at Charterhall in the Borders on July 19.
These high temperatures, combined with lower levels of building occupancy during the holiday period, means that the presence of Legionella bacteria are vastly increased at many properties and workplaces. As a result, building water systems carry a greater risk of contamination at the present time.
With further surges in temperature forecast, workplace and facilities managers need to be aware of the increased risk of legionella bacteria.
Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by legionella bacteria including the most serious Legionnaires’ disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection.
The key for building owners is to minimise the chance of someone within their buildings contracting this potentially fatal disease.
A low turnover of water throughout a building, together with stored water temperatures between 20°C and 45°C, provide the ideal conditions for legionella bacteria to grow and multiply. In the current climate, commercial building owners and maintenance teams should take extra care to control the growth of legionella by reviewing the measures they currently have in place and by making sure they are suitable for the current conditions.
Additional flushing regimes should be considered to keep the turnover of water at a reasonable level as well as ensuring cold water is stored and distributed within well-insulated tanks and pipework.
HCS Water Treatment (part of Premier Technical Services Group) is a premium provider of Legionella control and management of water systems in the UK.
Our risk assessment follows the guidance set out in BSEN 8580:2010, which gives recommendations on the assessment of the risk of legionellosis present within the water systems. The assessment will conclude on the condition of plant and advise you of any remediation necessary in order to reduce the risk from Legionella bacteria.