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Legionella Risk Assessment ACOP L8
Chris Camp Director of Aquamaster Water Treatment Ltd
Member of (iosh ) Membership No 113499
CLEANING AND DISINFECTION OF WATER SYSTEMS
The ACOP says that the risk from exposure to Legionella should be prevented or controlled; precautions include keeping the hot and cold water system clean.
Hot and cold water services and, exceptionally, cold water services, should be cleaned and disinfected in the following situations:
If routine inspection of the services and temperature water checks, shows it to be necessary.
Visual inspection of the cold water storage tank to check the condition of the inside of the tank and the water within it.
The lid should be in good condition and fit closely.
HERE ARE SOME COLD WATER STORAGE TANKS FROM DIFFERENT LEGIONELLA RISK ASSESSMENT WORK THAT I HAVE CARRIED OUT. YOU CAN SEE HOW EASY BACTERIA CAN GROW IN THE RIGHT CONDITIONS.
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ALL HOT AND COLD WATER SYSTEMS WERE CHLORINATED TO KILL OFF ANY BACTERIA IN THE WATER SYSTEM
The insect screen on the water overflow pipe should be intact and in good condition. The thermal insulation on the cold water storage tank should be in good condition so as to protect it from extremes of temperature. The water surface should be clean and shiny and the water should not contain any debris or contamination. The cold water storage tank should be cleaned, disinfected and faults rectified, if considered necessary. If debris or traces of vermin are found then the inspection should be carried out more frequently.
If the system or part of it has been substantially altered or entered for maintenance purpose in a manner which may lead to contamination; or during or following an outbreak or suspected outbreak of Legionellosis.
Compliance for L8 (Prevention/control of Legionella ).
This must be taken seriously. Heavy fines could be imposed if your facility was found to be negligent. Did you know that all businesses must take proper measures to protect their staff, customers and the public against the risk of Legionnaires Disease? This is not intended to alarm you, but to advise you of the possible implications of non-compliance. Allow me to guide you with your compliance requirements.
The L8 is controlled by the UK Health and Safety Legislation codes of practice and guidance and is designed to help businesses meet their legal obligations.
Identifying risk areas
Checking that conditions will not encourage Legionella bacteria growth. Maintaining records of temperature checks.
Schematic drawings required for your plumbing system.
A member of staff needs to be specifically responsible for overseeing Legionella compliance. some points from the Check List for compliance:-
Ensure your water system complies with the water supply ( water fittings)regulations 1997.
Demonstrate that you are following the Health and Safety approved code of practice ( L8 ) with regards to Legionella control. Have undertaken a risk assessment with regards to Regulations and Legionella in the last 2 years. Can you remember the last time you undertook an inspection of your hot & cold water system. Are records of samples, temperatures checks and inspection recorded in a logbook?
Do you chemically dose your hot or cold water system at least once a year?
Have you made any alterations to your hot & cold water plumbing system?
Do you have up to date schematic drawings of the hot and cold water plumbing system at your premises?
Have you nominated someone to take responsibility for the hot and cold water systems at your premises?
An improvement plan to reduce the risk to acceptable levels.
After carrying out your risk assessment l will advise you of any modifications required and assist you with ongoing support.
This bacteria was found during regular checks at a leisure centre’s water system.
The Legionella bug which causes the disease was found in the showering system during safety checks. Legionnaires’ disease is a rare form of pneumonia, most often contracted by inhaling the mist from the water sources.
Synonyms: spas, hot tubs, jacuzzies TM
Designed for small numbers of people to sit in at a time, not for swimming or total immersion.
Not drained, cleaned or refilled between each use. Water recirculated with filtration and (hopefully ) chemical treatment. Fitted with water and/or air jet systems. Present in health clubs, health centres, and private households.
THE 3RD MOST COMMON CAUSE OF LEGIONNAIRES DISEASE AND OTHER LEGIONELLOSES.
Why are Spa Pools a problem ?
Air and water circulation systems provide a large surface area for biofilm growth. Complex flexible pipes not readily removable for cleaning to remove biofilm. Air systems often impossible to clean and disinfect. Biofilm organisms are more resistant to treatment. Balance tanks inadequately cleaned and often inaccessible for cleaning.
Elevated temperature 30 –40°c encourages the growth of bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Mycobacterium and Legionella. High organic load-nutrients from bathers e.g. Dead skin, sweat and other body secretions, bath oils, body lotions soap etc. Washed off by air and water jets.
High bather density and water reused. Bubbling creates aerosol at head level.
Ref: Author Dr John V Lee.
HOW CLEAN IS YOUR SHOWER HEAD?
THE PERIL LURKING IN YOUR CUBICLE COULD BE BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH.
Danger? Scientists say the slime that builds up in a shower head is a breeding ground for bugs.
Taking a shower might leave you feeling reinvigorated – but it could be bad for your health.
Nearly a third of showerheads harbour potentially dangerous bacteria to be sprayed over their owners, a study has found.
Scientists say the slime that builds up inside a shower head is a breeding ground for bugs linked to a host of diseases.
The slime protects the germs from the chlorine in the water, which is meant to eliminate them.
In tests, 30 per cent of showerheads contained Mycobacterium avium, a bug linked to lung disease.
Professor Norman Pace, who led the study at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said: ‘If you are getting a face full of water when you first turn your shower on, that means you are probably getting a particularly high load of Mycobacterium avium, which may not be too healthy.’
The researchers sampled the slime lurking inside 45 showerheads from homes and public buildings in nine cities across America.
They identified high levels of M. avium, a relative of the germ that causes TB.
Water spraying from the shower distributes the bacteria in droplets that can easily be inhaled deep into the lungs.
Those with weakened immune systems such as pregnant women, the elderly and those who are fighting off other diseases are more vulnerable, they report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
‘There have been some precedents for concern regarding pathogens and showerheads,’ said Dr Pace.
‘But until this study, we did not know just how much concern.’
Another germ, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, also thrives in the black ‘gunk’ that lines shower heads and taps. It kills around 300 Britons a year.
Dr Pace said it was not dangerous to take a shower. ‘But it’s like anything else, there is a risk associated with it,’ he said.
The researchers found metal showerheads were home to far fewer pathogens than plastic ones. They said switching to a metal shower head – especially one with a filter than can be changed regularly – can help reduce the build-up of bacteria.
Stepping outside the room for a minute after turning the shower on can also reduce the likelihood of inhaling pathogens that get driven out of the showerhead with the first burst of water.
One of the most infamous cases of waterborne infection, the deadly outbreak of legionnaires’ disease in America in 1976, was caused by bacteria in showerheads.
Author David Derbyshire 15th September 2009
SOME PLACES AT RISK
CARE HOMES, HOTELS, LEISURE CENTRES, OFFICE BLOCKS, GUEST HOMES, PUBLIC BUILDINGS
SOME SOURCES AT RISK
SCALE BUILD UP IN PIPEWORK, CALORIFIERS, SHOWER HEADS, COLDWATER STORAGE TANKS, SPA BATHS, HOT AND COLD WATER SERVICES, WATER SOFTENERS, SPRAY HUMIDIFIERS / AIR WASHERS AND WET SCRUBBERS, NEBULISERS
SOME OF A FEW CHLORINATION JOBS CARRIED OUT AT DIFFERENT LOCATIONS
Edith Cavell Hospital, Peterborough
Lister Hospital, Stevenage
Selwyn College, Cambridge
Houghton Regis, Sports Pavilion
Guild Hall, Cambridge
The Box Office, Cambridge
St.Neots Leisure Centre
The Enterprise Centre, St Ives
The National Stud, Newmarket
Anglia Ruskin Peterborough