Is Your Building’s Water System Safe during The Covid-19 Outbreak?
Hot and cold water systems in buildings that are empty or under occupancy must address the issue of stagnation.
My Building Is Partially In Use – Do I Need To Take Any Extra Measures?
Here at Artius, we believe that if the building is still partially in use, you should take additional measures to keep the remaining occupants safe. This is in accordance with advice from the Legionella Control Association and can help to control any potential outbreak of Legionella:
- If possible, drop stored water levels in tanks to maintain <24 hours storage
- Flush to simulate use – weekly flushing may not be sufficient
iii. Monitor temperature to ensure thermal gain in cold water is controlled
- If fitted, consider temporarily increasing levels of potable water treatment dosing – consider other consequences of this such as corrosion and make the decision on balance of benefit
- If controls are lost (temperature, biocide levels, etc.) the guidance in HSG274 is to sample for legionella weekly
- Consider other short term measures to keep remaining occupants safe such as point of use filters at designated locations with other areas shut off.
My Building Has Been Temporarily Shut Down (Mothballed). Should I Do Anything While It’s Empty?
It’s so easy to do the wrong thing. Artius are experts in water testing and know the right steps to take. We can advise you on how to manage the safety of you building in accordance with HSG274 Part 2 paragraphs 2.50-2.52. For all of the work below we advise that there should be a task risk assessment in place to ensure operatives are working safely:
- Do not drain down pipework
- If possible, remove sources of heat and external thermal gain
- Lock off, place signage on doors and otherwise advise potential users that the system has been taken out of use
- Have a plan in place for recommissioning the water system
Don’t Leave It Too Late – Get Your Legionella Risk Assessment Arranged Today
What Do I Do When My Building Is Ready To Re-Open After The Outbreak?
When your building is ready to re-open, the water system will need to be recommissioned.
You cannot simply put it straight back into use. While the building is mothballed, this time could be spent putting a plan in place to safely return to work.
Artius are more than happy to offer advice on this. There is the potential for the hazard present within water systems to be greater than normally expected, so please take appropriate measures.
The general advice below can help, but is as a guide only. Please contact us to ensure you follow the right steps for your building.
- For small, simple and cold water systems, flush through with fresh mains water.
- Larger buildings with tanks, showers, calorifiers and more complex pipework should undergo a more extensive flushing followed by cleaning and disinfection.
- In all cases where systems are being recommissioned it is sensible to undertake water sampling to measure and prove the effectiveness of the process.
- Follow up samples may be needed.
Help With Legionella Testing And Water Sampling
Artius have measures in place to ensure we are still able to operate and provide the advice and service you expect during this critical time. We are here to ensure that you minimise the potential for an outbreak of Legionella Disease in your building once we can all return to work.
Call us or email us to ensure that you keep your building and employees safe.