7 Tips on Preventing the Growth of Legionella

 7 Tips on Preventing the Growth of Legionella


There are no vaccines that prevent Legionnaires’ Disease. The key is preventing the growth of Legionella bacteria multiplying within your water system. By taking the below steps you will be safeguarding your business and reducing the risk of exposure to the Legionella bacteria.

1. Appoint a Responsible Person

Firstly, you don’t need to hire a specific manager; it could be a role assigned to an in-house member of staff or it could be outsourced. To illustrate, a responsible person is appointed by the duty holder to take day-to-day responsibility for legionella risk control and can be trained.

2. Conduct a Legionella Risk Assessment

Undoubtedly, Legionella Risk Assessments are key to preventing the growth of Legionella. The risk assessment will address all systems where water is used or stored. Analyse the risk factors and consider the potential of the system to become contaminated with Legionella which causes Legionnaires disease.

3. Prevent Stagnation

It is important to minimise water stagnation, which encourages the growth of biofilm. For example, dead legs are a breeding ground for the growth of Legionella. This is because the water is setting at room temperature which then stagnates. The solution is simple, remove the dead leg. Also, Little-used outlets are often at high risk of Legionella growth. This is because when they aren’t used the water can stagnate, then when they are used again there could be a potential Legionnaires’ outbreak. These little-used outlets should be flushed at least once a week to stop the water from stagnating and preventing Legionella from growing.

4. Temperature Control

Without a doubt, a key aspect of Legionella prevention is temperature control within your water systems. Anything between 20°c to 45°c and Legionella thrives. We can manage this by taking temperatures of the Hot and Cold Water. Hot should reach 50°c and Cold should remain under 20°c. Any fluctuations should be reported to a plumber to action. Because of this you will be preventing the habitat in which Legionella Bacteria can grow and proliferate.

5. Take Regular Samples

In addition, water sampling is the only way of assessing the level of bacteria in water. Your sampling will do one of two things; let you know your water management program is working and let you know when to take immediate action.

6. Descale and Chlorination 

It is very important to remove limescale build-up as this acts as a perfect habitat for Legionella to grow. For example, you can catch Legionnaires’ disease from a shower. This is because showers produce a fine aerosol and the tiny droplets can carry the harmful bacteria into the lungs. By descaling and removing the limescale on taps, showers, and any other water equipment you may have will remove the bacteria and reduce the risk.

7. Chlorinate the System and Stored Water 

And above all, unclean water acts as a breeding ground for bacteria. Therefore, it is important to clean and chlorinate any cold-water storage tanks you may have on your premises including the chlorination of the water system. Clearly this will kill all the harmful bacteria in the water system, but it will also prevent Legionella from growing due to unfavourable conditions. This is because of giving the system a good clean.

For more information or advice on Legionella prevention, call our office on 02890918271 or email info@techright.org