How important is Water Chlorination and Water Monitoring in the fight against Legionella?
In light of the recent Legionella bug which physically closed Paulton maternity unit in Somerset in March 2016 (reported by the BBC), we ask how important is water chlorination and water monitoring? The answer is, quite clearly, it is hugely important and it should be at the top of all water hygiene health and safety lists. It it is one of the most important checks to conduct in water purification, because Legionnaires Disease/Legionella can kill.
The closure of this maternity unit highlights just how dangerous Legionella can be, when found in a public water supply. Had this not have been detected the outcome could have been much worse, with lives and the lives on unborn babies affected. Although we can presume that the expectant mothers might have been disappointed that they had to give birth at another unit, the decision to close the unit was the only way to prevent illness and death.
But how was the Legionella bug detected in the first place? And when it was detected, could it have been prevented? A spokesperson said “water tanks would be drained and removed after a positive test for legionella from a sluice in a non-patient area of the unit.” From this quote we can detect that water monitoring was in place, because they were able to detect the deadly strain of Legionnaire’s disease and close the unit before people’s lives were put at risk. In terms of prevention, the key to preventing Legionnaires Disease is maintenance of the water systems in which Legionella grow, including drinking water systems, hot tubs, decorative fountains, and cooling towers (air-conditioning units for large buildings).
Water monitoring is an essential and relatively inexpensive way to ensure water is safe to use by everyone. Here at Water Hygiene Services we provide a system log book which is used to record all legionella control monitoring tasks which have been carried out by our trained team.
Some of the tasks adopted in the monitoring process includes;
- Weekly flushing of little used outlets
- Monthly temperature test results of representative outlets
- Quarterly descaling of shower heads and spray taps
- Annual inspection of calorifiers
- Annual water storage tank inspection
- 24 monthly legionella risk assessment review
- A Water Hygiene Surveyor will visit the site at regular intervals to ensure that risks are kept in
- Temperatures and conditions will be compared with parameters detailed in ACOP L8.
If you currently use a company for water monitoring purposes, be sure to check they are completing all of the above tasks regularly to ensure safety at all times.
For further information or to discuss your upcoming work needs please contact us.