Legionella bacteria - what can you do to prevent it in your building?

Callum Byrne
21st October 2021

Legionella bacteria can grow within a temperature range of 20-50˚C within domestic water services. Maintaining the temperature control through keeping your cold and drinking water below 20˚C and making sure that your hot water is above 50˚C, will reduce the likelihood of Legionella bacteria multiplying within your water systems.

So, other than keeping temperatures under control, what else can be done?

Routine flushing of your water system is the most effective task that can be done, as this helps prevent stagnation within water services. It has been noted during some of our site inspections that due to COVID-19, and with the lack of occupancy within buildings, this has caused additional outlets to be infrequently used, and therefore causing stagnation occurring. As these areas are not being used day to day with people not occupying these areas, these should be flushed i.e., kitchenettes and washrooms.

A Legionella risk assessment will identify areas of low use and these outlets should be flushed on a weekly basis. This list should be changed and dynamically used to include new locations as when it is needed. This could be through vacating of premises through tenant changes, shifts in working practices or just lack of use.

Having a suitable independent Legionella risk assessment in place will help identify any issues on your site and will help identify the tasks that will need to be carried out within your building. Having constant monitoring through water sampling and carrying out planned preventative maintenance tasks within a written scheme, that matches legislation and guidance, will help keep your building safe from Legionella bacteria through good management.

If you need any support with the Legionella management within your building – please get in touch