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Legionella and Landlords: Navigating Responsibilities in Water Treatment and Safety

26 April 2024

Legionella and Landlords: Navigating Responsibilities in Water Treatment and Safety

As a landlord, ensuring the safety and well-being of your tenants is paramount. One critical aspect that often goes overlooked is the risk posed by legionella bacteria in water systems. Legionella, the bacterium responsible for Legionnaires’ disease, thrives in water systems of buildings, especially when not properly managed. 

In this blog, we will delve into the responsibilities of landlords in relation to industrial water treatment, legionella monitoring, and testing, while emphasising the importance of water testing and facilities management to mitigate exposure to legionella.

Understanding legionella and its risks

Legionella bacteria are found naturally in freshwater environments but become a health concern when they grow and spread in human-made water systems. Inadequate water treatment can lead to legionella proliferation, posing a severe risk to occupants. Exposure to legionella can occur through inhalation of aerosols from water sources like showers, cooling towers, and hot tubs. This can lead to Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, or Pontiac fever, a milder illness.

Landlords’ responsibilities in industrial water treatment and legionella monitoring

As a landlord, it’s crucial to understand that you are responsible for ensuring the water safety in your buildings. This involves implementing industrial water treatment strategies that effectively manage the risk of legionella growth. Regular water testing is a key component of this strategy, as it helps identify potential risks and allows for timely intervention.

Industrial water treatment encompasses various practices, including water filtration, use of biocides, and temperature control. These practices should be part of a comprehensive legionella monitoring program. Monitoring involves routine inspections and checks of water systems to ensure that control measures are effectively minimising the risk of legionella.

Legionella testing: A cornerstone of effective water management

Legionella testing is an essential part of water hygiene compliance. This testing should be conducted regularly to ensure the effectiveness of water treatment methods. As a landlord, you should engage with certified professionals like H2O Hygiene to conduct these tests. These tests provide insights into the presence and concentration of legionella bacteria, guiding necessary adjustments in water treatment and safety measures.

Integrating legionella control into facilities management

Facilities management plays a crucial role in maintaining water systems and mitigating legionella risks. This includes regular maintenance of plumbing systems, ensuring proper functioning of water heaters and coolers, and implementing necessary remedial works to prevent legionella growth. Educating facilities management teams about legionella risks and prevention strategies is also vital, as their day-to-day operations directly impact water system safety.

Reducing exposure to legionella: best practices for landlords

To reduce the exposure to legionella in your property, follow these best practices:

  • Regular Water Testing and Monitoring – Engage with professionals like H2O Hygiene for periodic water testing and legionella risk assessments.
  • Effective Water Treatment Strategies – Implement and maintain industrial water treatment methods suitable for your building’s water system.
  • Routine Maintenance – Ensure regular maintenance of water systems, including cleaning, disinfecting, and replacing parts as needed.
  • Temperature Control – Keep water temperatures in a safe range to inhibit legionella growth— hot water more than 50°C and cold water more than 20°C. (Hot water should be kept above 50 degrees celsius in all non healthcare premises and more than 60 degrees in healthcare)
  • Tenant Education – Inform tenants about legionella and the measures you are taking to ensure water safety.

H2O Hygiene: your partner in legionella management

At H2O Hygiene, we specialise in industrial water treatment, legionella testing, and monitoring. Our expertise in water hygiene compliance and safety makes us the ideal partner for landlords seeking to uphold their responsibilities in managing legionella risks. We provide comprehensive services, including risk assessments, testing, and tailored water treatment solutions.

Landlords play a pivotal role in safeguarding tenants from legionella-related risks. By embracing responsibilities in industrial water treatment, legionella monitoring, and testing, and integrating these practices into facilities management, landlords can significantly reduce the exposure to legionella. 

Partnering with experts like H2O Hygiene ensures that these crucial tasks are performed effectively, maintaining a safe and compliant water system in your properties.

For more information on legionella management and to explore our services, visit our website at H2O Hygiene.

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