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LEGIONELLA TESTING – COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES

Danger Areas

These sites are far more complex, usually the original facility bears little resemblance to the present day layout.

New buildings and refurbished departments will have been added so that the initial centralised water systems can no longer cope.

Consequently new systems are installed and whole buildings are migrated from one supply to another, often leaving disused and deadleg pipework.

As the courses offered change frequently, buildings have to adapt accordingly. Laboratories, toilets, showers etc are installed, removed or modified which means redundant distribution pipework may be capped and hidden. These deadlegs provide the conditions for legionella to grow and seed other parts of the water system.

It is also extremely important to manage the risk of legionella when schools are closed for holidays etc.  These periods provide the perfect opportunity for bacterial growth within the water systems and therefore all water storage tanks, calorifiers and outlets should be thoroughly flushed prior to the start of a new Term.  It would be prudent to consider screening the water services for legionella bacteria as part of the regime.

An area often forgotten, but of high risk, is the cleanliness of the drinking water especially if it is delivered via drinking water fountains.  We expect, quite rightly, that our mains water is of exceptional quality, however bacteria is often transferred to these fountains via students hands that have been in contact with contaminated outlets, i.e. toilet taps, where it is common to find faecal bacteria.  Regularly checking the drinking water outlets for bacteria is considered good practice to highlight if the hygiene regimes are adequate or require review.  The test is referred to as a ‘potable’ test and consists of:

  • Total Viable Count at 22°C
  • Total Viable Count at 37°C
  • E.Coli
  • Coliforms

FInd out our ‘Potable’ Test

LAW

  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999
  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

RELEVANT DOCUMENTS

HSG274 Legionnaires’ disease: Technical guidance:-

  • Part 2: The control of legionella bacteria in hot & cold water systems


HSE- Legionnaires’ disease A guide for employers
HSE - Essential information for providers of residential accommodation

Which kit to buy?

The number of samples and frequency should be stated in the ‘Written Scheme’ which is produced following the risk assessment.

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