What is Legionella?
Impact On Re-opening Your Business
The genus Legionella is a pathogenic group of gram-negative bacteria that includes the species L. pneumophila, which causes legionellosis, including a pneumonia-type illness called Legionnaires’ disease as well as Pontiac fever.
People at risk include infants, adults over 45 years old, and those with a history of smoking, chronic lung disease and/or poor immune function.
Legionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems (e.g. rivers and ponds), however, the conditions are rarely right for people to catch the disease from these sources. Outbreaks of the illness occur from exposure to Legionella grouping in purpose-built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth, for example cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems (showers).
As businesses (factories, hotels, and other hospitality industries) start to re-open, we would like to share a few good practices for Legionella Management Systems to ensure the safety of your staff and patrons when returning to the new normal:
- Flush all stagnant water outlets for 20-30 seconds
- Example outlets include showers, toilets, emergency showers, faucets
- Temperature Monitoring
- Hot water storage tanks should be set at least 60 degrees Celsius
- Distribution of hot water to the farthest point should reach 50 degrees Celsius for 1 minute
- Coldwater systems should reach <20 degrees Celsius for 2 minutes to the farthest distribution point
- Descaling Shower Heads/Tap Filters
- Remove showerheads and filters in water systems and clean with appropriate cleaner and biocide to remove calcium build-up and biofilm
- Alternatively, follow a filter rotation system for clean and dirty filters
- Chemical/Heat Treatment
- On startup, clean & sanitize water systems with appropriate biocide
- Alternatively, perform heat shock treatment (keep temperature at 60 degrees Celsius for 1 hour before circulation)
- Circulation temperature must be at 60 degrees Celsius for an additional hour
Need advice on how to keep your water systems safe from Legionella? Contact our expert team today.