Water Safety and Legionella
Whilst the legionella bacteria is found in most water systems the risk comes in low temperature environments of between 20 and 45 degrees celcius where it can survive and multiply and reach dangerous levels. This can also occur in stagnant water contained within redundant (unused) pipework or rarely used outlets which can contain rust, sludge and organic matter.
It is the inhalation of droplets of water contaminated by Legionella bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ Disease and people most at risk are individuals with weaker immune systems.
Risk assessments must be regularly reviewed by a competent person defined by the HSE as ‘someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience’. An agent can fall into this category if they have an understanding of how to inspect the premises for any risks. The legal duties for landlords who provide residential properties can be read here.
Note: New assessments need to be carried out should vulnerable tenants move in or a system is updated/altered.
A written record must be kept that needs to include:
- The name of the person carrying out the risk assessment;
- The review date;
- A list of the systems being assessed;
- Any potential sources of risk;
- Any risk controls in place;
- Records of monitoring, inspections, maintenance procedures and checks.