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Summer Legionella Spikes: Keeping Your Water Systems Safe

By: Jon Greaves on Jul 8, 2024

With warmer weather approaching, building owners and managers need to be aware of the increased risk of Legionella bacteria in water systems. Outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease, a serious form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria, tend to spike during the summer months.

Why Summer is Legionella Season

Legionella bacteria thrives in warm, stagnant water. So, when summer temperatures rise and water usage dips in buildings like schools that close for the season, the risk of Legionella growth multiplies. Without proper control measures, these unused systems can become breeding grounds for this harmful bacteria.

 Protecting Your Building from Legionella

Here are some key steps you can take to maintain water system safety and Legionella compliance during the summer months:

  • Pre-Season Flush: Before summer hits, thoroughly flush and clean all your water systems. This helps remove any stagnant water and potential breeding grounds for bacteria.
  • Temperature is Key: Regularly monitor and maintain water temperatures throughout your system. Legionella growth thrives between 20°C and 45°C (68°F and 113°F). Keep hot water above 60°C (140°F) and cold water below 20°C (68°F).
  • Cooling Tower Care: Ensure your cooling towers and evaporative condensers are clean and free of debris. These can be prime Legionella breeding grounds if not properly maintained.
  • Testing and Monitoring: Implement a regular testing and sampling program to monitor for the presence of Legionella bacteria. Early detection is crucial to prevent outbreaks.
  • Training and Awareness: Train your staff on Legionella awareness, prevention measures, and response protocols. An informed team is a strong line of defense against Legionella

By following these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of Legionella growth in your water systems and ensure a safe and healthy environment for everyone who uses your building.

Training with Hydro-X 

In October 2021, WCS Group acquired Hydro-X Training and together, we are now the UK's provider of choice for City & Guilds Legionella training courses. We offer a range of in-person and online training courses delivered by our joint experienced team who will train you quickly and compliantly. Trainees leave our courses confident to apply their knowledge and new skills safely and in line with ACoP L8 and HSG 24.

We can also offer flexible, tailored training courses for individuals or organisations with specific needs. For example, for individuals and small groups, we offer open courses at our offices, or locally convenient centres throughout the year. Or alternatively, we are more than happy to host bespoke specific courses at our venues or your facilities, including specific training using your equipment as examples.

To explore our upcoming courses or to talk to us about a bespoke training programme, get in touch with us

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Topics: Legionella Control

Jon Greaves

Written by Jon Greaves

Jon has progressively worked through operational roles, account management, technical management, and senior management roles over the last 16 years within one of the group companies before moving into the role of Water and Air Managing Director. Jon has experience across multiple sectors of water and air compliance, including district energy networks; data centres; healthcare; food and beverage and facilities management. Jon acted as a corresponding steering committee member on CIBSE CP1 – Heat Networks Code of Practice for the UK released in 2020.

Legionella training courses delivered by Hydro-X Training

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