Did you know that in accordance with the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines, if you are an employer, self-employed or in control of premises (e.g. a landlord), you have a duty to identify and control risks associated with legionella?
In addition, you need to be aware that if your building was closed or has had reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation may occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.
So, what is Legionnaires Disease?
Legionnaires Disease is a potentially serious form of pneumonia that can affect people of all ages but particularly those who are elderly, smokers, have cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory or kidney disease.
Contracted when you breathe in droplets of water from a contaminated water source e.g. air conditioning systems, showers and taps, cooling towers, decorative fountains, spa pools etc. Legionella bacteria multiply where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available. The bacteria are dormant below 20°C and do not survive above 60°C.
The Importance of Controlling Water Temperature
According to the HSE, controlling water temperature is the primary method in reducing legionella growth and temperatures should be as follows:
- Hot water storage cylinders (calorifiers) should store water at 60°C or higher
- Hot water should be distributed at 50°C or higher (thermostatic mixer valves need to be fitted as close as possible to outlets, where a scald risk is identified).
- Cold water should be stored and distributed below 20°C.
Checking and monitoring of these systems should be carried out regularly and by
a competent person (see HSE website for more information).
Controlling Legionnaires Disease in Health Care Trusts
Health care settings such as care homes and medical centres often have complex water systems that can easily promote legionella bacteria if they are not maintained properly. Patients in these facilities often have weakened immune systems or are elderly meaning they are at higher risk of contracting Legionnaires Disease. It is therefore essential that an effective water management system is in place to limit the growth and spread of legionella within this type of setting.
Controlling Legionnaires Disease in Academies
Some academies and schools are also at risk of spreading legionella due to their complex air conditioning systems, old and infrequently used showers, ageing hot and cold-water systems and more - potentially putting students, staff and visitors at risk.
If you operate several schools with many hot water cylinders, the last thing you want to do is install temperature sensors and cabling to monitor your hot water systems as this would prove to be costly.
But there is a Cost-Effective way that can help you comply with legislation
At Ver Facil, we can help Health Care Trusts, Academies, Student Housing Companies, Housing Associations and other organisations (with multiple assets) to monitor the temperature of their stored hot water and alert them if it drops below 45 degrees centigrade for more than 24hrs.
Our LoRaWAN temperature probe is an easily installed, wireless means of monitoring the water temperature in your water system.
The probe can be strapped or bonded to hot water cylinders, flow pipework and end of line pipework and when linked to an internal LoRaWAN gateway provide constant monitoring of the temperature in your water system.
This can be set up so that you can receive alerts when the hot water
cylinder outlet drops below 50, the hot water return and outlet temperatures
drop below 40 or the temperature is less than 40 degC for more than 24hrs.
The constant monitoring combined with the alerts means that you will know as soon as the temperatures drop outside of the acceptable range and fix it before risking legionella bacteria growing and spreading through your water system ... and what is more …. it’s affordable!
Want to find out more?
Then contact us today on 01208 811277 or firstname.lastname@example.org