Legionella controls during the Covid-19 pandemic
As the government is now advising home working and certain businesses have been required to close, it's important to be aware of the legionella risks in vacant or less frequently used properties. This is particularly important if there is a risk of stagnation within water systems.
As a general principle, all outlets on hot and cold water systems should be used at least once a week to maintain a degree of water flow and to minimise the chances of stagnation.
To manage the risks during non-occupancy, consideration should be given to implementing a suitable flushing regime and other necessary measures. Below are useful links with more detail:
- Our guidance on legionella controls during the Covid-19 shutdown
- The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health's 'Legionnaires’ disease: lockdown risks and reopening safely'
- Public Health England guidance on legionella
- Legionella Control Association guidance on Covid-19 issues
- The Health and Safety Executive also provides guidance on properties left unoccupied
- Health and Safety Executive audit checklist and guidance
- European Society of Clinical Microbiology Covid-19 guidance
In addition, consideration is required of other water systems no longer in use, such as leisure, sports, swimming and spa pool facilities. We suggest that for these facilities you should follow the procedures described in the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group Code of Practice.
If you're in Shropshire and you require further information please contact the Health Protection Team at Shropshire Council via 0345 678 9067 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org