ESGLI Guidance for managing Legionella in building water systems during the COVID-19 pandemic
In the UK Legionella control is subject to statutory control under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and COSHH regulations. In other European countries regulation varies, but the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ESCMID) maintains a group of Legionella experts in the European Study Group for Legionella Infections (ESGLI).
ESGLI publishes the European Technical Guidelines on control of Legionella and has provided updated guidance for control of Legionella during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK actively participates in ESGLI and their advice is highly regarded. A link to the guidance is below, but UK organizations must always make sure that they comply with specific UK regulation and guidance on Legionella control.
Feedwater Ltd has also broken down a response with our thoughts on the matter which are laid out below.
How can I disinfect my water system safely?
Our initial view is that, the first point of contact for a building operator should be with their water treatment contractor.
Ideally chlorination of tanks and services, should be undertaken by those trained to do so. In the UK most water treatment companies are continuing to deliver services, as they are essential in allowing key industries to continue to operate.
If the work can be undertaken by a sub-contractor who has the required expertise, and social/safe distancing can be maintained then this should be the route to take.
Can I disinfect my water system myself?
If such a scenario was the only one available, then a building operator could undertake their own disinfection, we would recommend that they ask their water treatment contractor for a method statement, along with dosage calculations/rates for the correct amount of disinfectant to use.
The following links show the procedures/method statements that Feedwater provide with our D.I.Y. chlorination packs available on our web shop
Can I use the chemicals I already have on site for my swimming pool?
The answer is yes, however an operator would need to find out the dosage rates of the product they have on site.
Below are the chlorine donor rates for typical disinfectants, which could be used as a guide.
|Chemical||Form||Normal Available chlorine content||Qty required in g/m3 to achieve 50mg/l Cl2|
|Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate||Powder / granules / tablets||55%||91|
|Calcium Hypochlorite||Powder / granules / tablets||65%||77|
What if my water system doesn’t have tanks?
In this scenario, if the ability to undertake a disinfection is viable then we recommend it is undertaken by a specialist water treatment contractor, due to the specialist equipment and knowledge involved.
The options available to a building operator from a DIY perspective are thermal disinfection, increased flushing and increased sampling.
To speak to an expert and discuss Legionella control in your building water system call or email Feedwater today on 0151 606 0808.