Now is the time to plan the recommissioning of your buildings water system post #coronavirus restriction. If you fail to do so you risk longer delays to opening or worse, run the risk of creating further health hazards from operating your water systems inc. Legionella outbreaks.
When restrictions are lifted and we begin returning to work, it will be important to recognise that, if premises were closed or only partially open, then additional measures. will need to be in place and undertaken. Fail to do so and you run the risk of creating further health hazards from operating your water systems.
The systems should be recommissioned as though they were new (ie thoroughly flushed, cleaned and disinfected) before returned to use.
Legal responsibilities for Health & Safety haven’t changed, including those applicable to the prevention of Legionella.
The time to consider a recommissioning plan is now.
A high demand for flushing, disinfection, sampling and other recommissioning work is predicted. Should you fail to plan ahead now you risk a longer delay beyond the loosening of government measures.
Whilst every water system should be given it’s own consideration, as a minimum you should look to:
Review Risk Assessment & Control Measures
If you haven’t already, now is the time to consider a plan for reopening your building. As part of this plan your legionella risk assessment should be updated. The impact of low occupancy or mothballing due to COVID-19 will have had a significant effect on risk and your review should document the additional measures you are implementing.
Flush / Avoid Stagnation
As a simple control measure, to avoid stagnation, flushing should have been implemented for the duration of low use. However, as a minimum expectation, before reopening your premises, systems should be thoroughly flushed with fresh mains water, with some additional measures required for larger systems i.e cleaning and disinfection.
Disinfection of Water Systems
If you operate a larger building or more complex water systems, e.g. a school, large office block or factory, then a disinfection of the water system will be required. High demand for disinfection services post restrictions means you should consider organising now to ensure works can be carried out in time or risk a longer delay beyond the lifting of government measures.
If your system requires recommissioning (most cases) you should consider sampling to indicate the effectiveness of your additional control measures or until control is restored.
Note! Whilst the measures above outline a minimum requirement of published guidance, these are not always 100% effective, other strategies maybe considered to regain control of your water systems. We recommend consultation with your Account Manager and to evaluate the specific options open to you.