Hide and Seek with Legionella Bacteria - A game you don't want to play!

by  PHX Water on  27/08/2020    178 Reads

Many people are familiar with Legionnaires disease horror stories. We'll be honest with you - we know that when something is labelled as a "horror story" many people switch off and assume that the story itself is exaggerated. Some people don't even read beyond the headline. Here's the thing; Legionella bacteria can develop and grow wherever it feels like it, so all as the conditions are correct. There are some unsuspecting places people have contracted Legionnaires. You actually might be surprised as many of us have access to and come into contact with some of the places we will discuss below. If you dare, please read on. 

Cooling Mist

Everywhere is getting warmer, even Scotland is getting warmer weather these days. With this welcomed increase in heat comes the need to keep cool and comfortable. Cooling mist one of the most popular ways of staying cool when it's "taps-aff" weather. 

Twenty-two holidaymakers, unfortunately, used cooling mist to keep cool that contacted the Legionella bacteria. Of all places, this was in Disneyland, California in 2017. Unfortunately, these unsuspecting visitors inhaled water droplets containing the disease. Talk about a holiday from hell. 

Check out the story here - https://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-ln-legionnaires-appeal-20181204-story.html  

Garden Hoses

A man died in 2017 after using his garden hose to clean his patio. All very reasonable and we have all probably taken a turn to hose the patio down. The hose itself had been left out in the sun, this resulted in the ideal breeding conditions for Legionella, and therefore the hose was infected with bacteria that took the man's life.  Remember; water that is now flowing and in a warm atmosphere is almost sure to give the bacteria the platform to breed. Cases like this are rare, but they do happen. Don't provide the bacteria with the bed to spread.

Check out the story here - https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/817544/legionnaires 

Swimming Pools

Swimming pool temperatures are lower than hot tubs. However, Legionella can still thrive, specifically in areas where water or slime puddles form. In the summer months, outbreaks are more prevalent. So, if you are managing a local swimming pool or you are responsible for the management of local a swimming pool, ensure that it is regularly scrubbed and disinfected. Doing so will vastly decrease the likelihood of Legionella bacteria growth. 

Should it be the case where the buck stops with you; ensure that logs are kept of the planned cleaning schedule and a separate record of when it was done (and by who). Also, ensure that you retain the proof of purchase of the cleaning products that were used to clean the pool. If someone gets ill or worse, dies, you will need to produce evidence that you took all steps required to keep Legionella bacteria risks to a minimum.

Garden Water Butts

Water Butts, they are affordable (£22-£150), they are an advantageous and even sensible way of collecting water for the garden. Still, an extraordinary 90%+ of Water Butts are a hotspot for Legionella bacteria to multiply.

Be extra cautious when watering the garden with this water. Where possible; use a watering can rather than a watering hose or a sprinkler system to avoid inhaling or ingesting in any of the potentially infected water.

Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are great, and the best temperature is approximately 36-37°C. The water bubbles away, you'll probably have a cold refreshing drink in hand, maybe even a burger in the other. After all, it's your hot tub, why wouldn't you? You got it to have fun with friends and family and relax. Here's the thing, it's also one of the most popular environments for Legionella. A water stream or the mist is also the easiest way for bacteria to be inhaled or ingested. So, hot tub owner, ensure you clean and disinfect your toasty pride and joy! 

As you can see, Legionella can thrive in many different situations. If you're unsure about the safety of your water system, get in touch with a professional who can assess the level of risk and make suggestions to help you reduce the risk of Legionella.

Take action now!

As you can see, Legionella bacteria can thrive in many different places and situations. If you're unsure about the safety of your water systems, get in touch with us. We will talk you through everything. 

Our assessors are experienced in all types of systems and will perform:

  • Full assessments of all site assets with photographic evidence
  • Legionella control scheme documentation
  • Full system & outlet survey
  • Summary schematic of the water system
  • Practical recommendations
  • Check of all legal and guideline requirements
  • Health & Safety Executive ACOP L8 & HSG 274 guidance
  • Coverage of HTM04-1 for Healthcare premises
  • Coverage of HTM01-05 for Dental premises
  • Alignment with BS8580

We can also help with remedial action plans that are tailored to your requirements.

We are a Scottish company, based in Perth but provide our services throughout Scotland. Our Perth office gives a central location to all major cities including Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee, Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

https://www.phxwater.co.uk/services/legionella-risk-assessment  

Hot Tubs, Legionella Bacteria

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