With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to evolve, a lot of questions have been asked surrounding what needs to be completed regarding Legionella Compliance. As a company, we are constantly reviewing measures and consulting external bodies, such as the Legionella Control Association (LCA) for support in these matters.
The Legal responsibility lies with the Duty Holder who must make their own determination for each circumstance, but the following principles should be considered when making decisions on what to do to control legionella during the current COVID – 19 outbreak. The below is based upon LCA guidance issued 25/03/2020:
With all the above actions considered a plan for recommissioning the water systems should be in place once the current situation starts to change, again advice has been provided by the LCA:
Recommissioning Water Systems
It is essential that when buildings reopen following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, that any water system is not simply put straight back into use. During the period of shutdown, it would be sensible to formulate a recommissioning plan for each water system to allow safe start-up and assurance to users that it is safe.
Evaporative cooling systems should already have a robust start-up and shut-down procedures in place, and the expectation is that these must be followed.
The minimum expectation for small, simple hot and cold-water systems would be flushing through with fresh mains water. Larger buildings, those with tanks, showers, calorifiers and more complex pipework the expectation is likely to be for more extensive flushing followed by cleaning and disinfection.
During flushing, all valves should be operated in the fully open position so that any particulate matter can be flushed through. Of particular importance are float-operated or other restrictive valves that need to be manually opened to ensure the clearing of particulates and prevent fouling of the valves. Where a clearing velocity cannot be achieved, consideration should be given to the removal of valves to enable an effective flush.
Where buildings have been empty for some time and during warm weather, it is likely that some increase in bacteria levels and biofilm will occur. These water systems may require more than a simple disinfection to be successful. Be prepared for the need to repeat some disinfections to achieve success.
In all cases where systems are being recommissioned, it is sensible to have evidence to prove/reassure that the recommissioning process has been effective. Legionella sampling to BS7592 should be considered for recommissioning plans to validate the effectiveness of the process.
While each individual water system is likely to need individual consideration, it will be helpful to be aware of the bigger picture with regard to demand on services. There will be an increased demand for flushing and disinfection, sampling and other system recommissioning work.
There is potential for multiple outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease following the COVID-19 outbreak if actions taken now are not carefully considered.
We have been impressed with the support, the timely response was given to us when we have needed to act quickly and we, therefore, have no hesitation in recommending Nant to you. Christadelphian Care Homes
I can recommend Nant as an excellent contractor for water management. Their service is efficient and cost-effect, but above all else, they deliver high standards or customer service and ensure that customer’s needs are met by delivering a flexible approach to the service they provide. Eco FM
We have been working with Nant for 12 Months and have found them to be a reliable company with a very usable compliance portal. Whilst moving to their portal they delivered a seamless transition with a series of webinars and ‘mop up’ calls to ensure all onsite are aware of their responsibilities. The Gym Group
Nant Ltd worked with Quantum Care to remove the risk of these bacteria through extensive surveys and monitoring programmes. This resulted in the removal of a vast number of Dead ends, dead legs, removing excessive water storage and other causes of water stagnation, and upgrading cold water tanks with lids, lagging, overflow screens, etc. They even worked with Quantum care heat engineers to cure hot water and heating temperatures problems. Quantum Care
Nant Ltd has become our tried & tested contractor that we fall back to when others cannot deliver. In our line of business (caring for the elderly, infirm and those that need specialist care) we need a contractor that can deliver 24x7x365 – Nant Ltd meet those needs. Care UK
I have worked with other legionella contractors, but it is Nant that I feel most confident with. Their prices are comparable to other companies, but the service has always been far more dependable and standard of product is excellent. FitzRoy