Our team of water quality experts have developed a good resource of answers to some common questions asked by our customers. If you have a question on workplace compliance, please email us at info@assurityconsulting.co.uk

    How often should I be carrying out temperature tests for my domestic water outlets?

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommend that temperature testing of sentinel domestic outlets (those closest and furthest from the water supply and representative of the system as a whole) should take place on a monthly basis, and all outlets in a building should be tested on an annual basis. This is to make sure that cold water temperatures are operating below 20°C within two minutes of flushing and all hot water services achieve between 50ºC and 60°C within one minute of flushing. This task must be recorded also stating the location, date and the name of the person carrying out the checks.

    However, in some instances carrying out temperature tests of a greater number of outlets in a building more regularly may also be needed, as for example water temperatures can change significantly due to seasonal variation. Where cold water temperatures might be 10ºC in the winter months, mains water is often supplied above 20ºC during the summer. These temperatures can provide an ideal environment in which Legionella can multiply; putting yourself and occupants at risk.

    You can manage this risk by understanding the water temperatures in your building throughout the year; this will enable you to take suitable actions and precautions. For example, Legionella grow best in water that is stagnant, and more frequent temperature testing of all outlets can identify where stagnant water may be sitting and gaining heat within a system. Using this information, you can implement a flushing regime of low usage outlets to increase water turnover and minimise the risk of Legionella infection; even during the summer months. 

    Related services: Water Quality and Hygiene Management

    Legionella Management

    What are the legal requirements for drinking water in buildings?

    Under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) regulations 1992, each employer has a duty for “an adequate supply” of “wholesome” drinking water for their employees (Regulation 22). The strict guidelines for what constitute wholesome drinking water are set by the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2018 and the Water Supply (Water Quality) (Scotland) Regulations 2010. These detail what, if any are the permissible levels of chemicals and micro-organisms in water intended for drinking. This includes indicator bacteria, such as coliforms, that might suggest other more harmful bacteria such as salmonella may be present in the water too.

    Achieving compliance comes down to following the guidelines and regulations to make sure the cleanliness of outlets and water systems. Cleaning procedures should comply with manufacturers specifications and be reviewed to make sure they are effective. It is important for those responsible to be aware of hygiene standards and sanitising procedures to prevent the growth of bacteria and maintain a wholesome supply of water.

    Related services: Water Quality and Hygiene Management

    Is bottled water better than tap water?

    By its very nature, bottled water will contain more bacteria (albeit harmless) than tap water (in the UK) as it has undergone less treatment. The UK has some of the best quality mains water in the UK. Under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, the employer must demonstrate that the water they provide for drinking purposes is "wholesome". By wholesome the regulations mean that the water should not contain certain micro-organisms or chemicals nor should it have any unpleasant taste, odour, colour or turbidity. 

    Related services: Water Quality and Hygiene Management

Assurity Consulting strip orange

Assurity Consulting

Let us help you to take care of your workplace compliance, in a cost effective and clear manner, so allowing you to focus on developing your core activities. Please contact us for a detailed, confidential and without-obligation discussion of your requirements.

Read more Get in touch