The spread of the coronavirus has made effective Legionella prevention more important than ever before.

A recent case of COVID-19 at a nursing home in the United States has raised questions about the link between a building’s ineffective infection control and the spread of the coronavirus. 

Among other infringements, inspectors cited the nursing home for failing to establish prevention programs to stop the spread of Legionella in their water systems and now, 129 cases of COVID-19 have been identified among patients, staff and visitors at the facility. A report into the spread of the virus concluded that ineffective infection control contributed to its spread, prompting a number of businesses to reassess their policies on Legionella management.

What is Legionella?

Legionella is a type of bacteria that can get into the water supply of a building and multiply. The bacteria causes Legionnaires’ disease which is a severe form of pneumonia. Symptoms of the disease include muscle pain, headache, fever, cough and shortness of breath. It can lead to severe chest infections and can take up to 10 days to develop. 

How to prevent the spread of Legionella

Unfortunately, no vaccine exists for the disease but the UK government is very clear on the legal responsibilities that business owners must adhere to. Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) makes provision for relevant legislation in order to ensure a property is safe and free from health hazards. 

By implementing the appropriate control measures, a building can ensure that the risk of contracting Legionella remains low. These measures need to be specific to the building or water system and should include regular monitoring of devices, regular cleaning and disinfection of cooling towers and frequent or continuous addition of biocides. This must be completed along with a complete drain and clean of the whole system at least weekly. 

It is also necessary to keep hot and cold water systems clean. Hot water should always be above 50 °C and cold water should be below 25 °C and ideally below 20 °C. A further measure to prevent the spread of the disease includes flushing unused taps in buildings on a weekly basis.  

For more information on the law governing the management of legionella see the government website.

A Smart solution

Smarter Technologies Group offers a smart, simple and effective Legionella testing solution that saves both time and resources. Our automatic flushing and temperature testing unit is controlled via our smart building platform and our bespoke dashboard provides real-time data which will alert you of any issues connected to the Legionella testing routine.

Smarter Technologies Group is the solution your business needs to stay compliant with legislation on Legionella testing.

Contact us today so that we can find a solution that will fit your business perfectly.