Practical engineering design and building management are crucial for minimising the growth of Legionella bacteria and preventing Legionnaires’ disease.
Although Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks are infrequent, they can be life-threatening.
Factors such as water usage, turnover, occupancy times, and sanitary specifications can contribute to the growth of bacteria, which can harbour and provide a source of nutrients for Legionella.
Using low-flow devices and mixing valves can make it challenging to size hot and cold water system components accurately. Maintaining excellent technical engineering design and client-side control management is essential.
Understanding Legionnaires’ Disease
Legionella is an aquatic bacteria that can infect human lungs and is widespread. However, it is typically associated with air conditioning, wet cooling towers, and domestic water systems in building services. Scotmas, a well-known company, provides Legionella control solutions to help minimise the risk of Legionella growth through engineering design and operational-side maintenance and management.
To minimise the risk of bacterial growth, it is vital to keep water flowing through the system and prevent stagnation. Biofilm formation can occur if water is not moving through the system, leading to bacterial growth. Therefore, regular water movement through the system via automated flushing or manual intervention by janitorial or facilities management staff is essential.
It is also crucial to accurately size the components of domestic water systems and consider the water consumption anticipated by the end-users during the design stage.
Factors Contributing to Bacterial Growth
Legionella requires specific conditions to proliferate, including water temperature between 20°C and 45°C, potential for water aerosols to become airborne, water being stored and recirculated, the presence of deposits in the system, such as sludge, organic matter, rust, scale, and nutrients, and amoebae that can cause retrograde contamination of Legionella bacteria.
Bacteria can proliferate in various systems, including showers, taps, spray heads, spa baths, storage tanks, calorifiers, pipework, plant, filters, thermostatic mixer valves, and particular fittings and materials.
The ideal temperature for bacterial growth is 37°C. HSE L81 recommends maintaining temperatures above 50°C to 60°C for domestic hot water systems. To minimise the risk of burns to the skin, hot water temperatures need to be controlled via thermostatic control devices such as thermostatic mixer valves or suitable warning signs at hot water outlets.
Legionella Control Solutions
Contaminated water can pose a risk of infection if it becomes an aerosol and airborne. Small particles can remain suspended in the air for long periods and travel considerable distances. Scotmas offers a range of reliable Chlorine Dioxide-based water treatment solutions to help businesses in various sectors protect their employees and customers from the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.
Controlling the Risk of Legionella
Controlling the risk of Legionella requires a combination of good technical engineering design and client-side control management. By adhering to the recommendations of HSE L81 and employing Legionella control solutions from reputable companies like Scotmas, property operators can minimise the risk of bacterial growth and ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone.
With decades of experience in the industry, Scotmas has a proven track record of providing high-quality, cost-effective solutions to our clients. Whether you’re looking to install a new water treatment system or upgrade an existing one, Scotmas has the expertise and resources to help you achieve your goals.
Safety and Compliance
If you’re concerned about the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and want to ensure that your property is safe and compliant, contact Scotmas today. Our team of experts will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a tailored solution that meets your needs.
With our innovative Legionella control solutions and technical engineering design expertise, you can rest assured that your property is safe. Contact Scotmas today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a safe and healthy environment for everyone.