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What Are the Risks of Not Checking Water Quality Regularly?

25 April 2023

Did you know that, if you’re the person responsible for a site which contains a water system, it is your legal duty to ensure that the water is safe and fit for use?

If you neglect your water maintenance responsibilities, such as failing to carry out regular water quality checks, you significantly increase the risk of water contamination, and you may be held personally accountable.

No pressure! 

However, burying your head in the sand won’t make water system issues disappear, and if a legionella outbreak should occur, you and your business could face serious consequences.

In this article, our experts run through the risks of poor water system management and the proactive measures you should take to ensure that both your water and your business’ reputation are safe.


What are the main risks of not checking your water quality? 

Increases legionella risks

First and foremost is the risk to the safety of the people you are responsible for. 

Without regular water quality checks, Legionella pneumophila bacteria could be spreading through your water system without you knowing. 

This particular bacterium is what causes the infamous Legionnaires disease, a potentially fatal lung infection that has a 10% mortality rate

Mondays are hard enough; no one wants to go to work or school and have to worry about whether the water could make them sick. Not sure about the quality of your water? We recommend booking a water risk assessment, which will highlight any areas of concern in your water system. Water treatments can then be carried out to stop legionella in its tracks.


Fines or other legal repercussions 

Not only can legionella be fatal, but it could also end up costing you money, too.

Regular water maintenance measures are a major part of ACoP L8 compliance, which means that if you fail to carry out your responsibilities and legionella is found in your system, you could be liable for fines, or potentially even prosecution. 

That’s not all. While getting an earful from the Health & Safety Executive is bad enough, you could also face lawsuits from the people who have contracted Legionnaires’ disease on your premises. Not ideal. 


Damage to your business’ reputation 

We’re willing to bet that if you heard that a business had recently experienced a legionella outbreak, it would be one of the last places on your ‘go-to’ list.

No matter how well-established your business is, a legionella outbreak can destroy your reputation and set your business back by years. 

Even after water treatments have removed the risk of legionella and your water systems are returned to a safe condition, the damage to your reputation has already been done.


Personal employment risk

As the person in charge of your water system, any contamination or safety issues could have massive repercussions on your professional standing. 

You could even lose your job, and an outbreak may well make it difficult to find work elsewhere, too. 

Once your water systems are found to be contaminated by Legionella pneumophila bacteria, your entire water system will have to put through thorough cleaning, water treatments and further risk assessments to restore it to a safe condition, and as you can imagine, this process isn’t cheap. 

It’s far more cost-effective in the long run to carry out regular assessments to prevent contamination from happening in the first place.

As we like to say here at H2O Hygiene – prevention is better than cure!


How to alleviate the risks to protect you and your business

The simple answer is this: take regular, proactive measures to ensure your water systems are safe and protected, this includes: 


Risk assessments 

This is where the talented specialists from your water hygiene provider carry out a thorough assessment of your water system(s) to identify any potential risks of contamination or any vulnerabilities that could cause you issues further down the line. 

From here, you will be provided with a tailored plan of action, including all the necessary treatments needed to prevent contamination and ensure your water systems are safe and hygienic. 


Water treatments 

If your risk assessment has revealed that your water system requires immediate action, it will need to undergo a series of water treatments, including: 

  • Water disinfection 
  • Water tank chlorination

These treatments target the harmful bacteria in your pipework and storage tanks to prevent growth and the risk of contamination. 


Water risk assessments and remedial works from H2O Hygiene 

At H2O Hygiene, we understand the risks of a contaminated water system(s) and the effect it could have on your business. 

That’s why we provide tailored legionella risk assessments and remedial work to protect your water (and your reputation!). 

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today, we’re on hand to help!


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