Legionella water droplet HBE

When Legionella monitoring becomes more important than the risk assessment

When your best defence is proactive legionella management, we’re asking why so many organisations just rely on the risk assessment when awkward questions are asked?

According to ACoP L8, there is a statutory requirement to undertake a risk assessment and to implement a suitable control programme to manage the risk.

It is the second part of the guidance which is unfortunately open to the interpretation as we ask what a “fit for purpose “control programme is.

Simon French, a leading authority on Legionella, advises that your log books and monitoring records are your best defence.  This is especially true when you have an issue. Regular monitoring is essential as it will ensure that you catch any unusual counts and readings, therefore reducing your risk of an outbreak, as seen in Scotland last year.

With budget pressures, many organisations believe that it is enough to just dose the system with chemicals – the apparent “belt and braces” approach. Unfortunately, like antibiotics, chemical dosing can eventually lose its effectiveness and there is clear evidence that legionella bacteria are surviving in systems dosed with chlorine dioxide and also in temperatures higher than 60C.

With evidence of this becoming more widespread, HBE are already working with their clients to consider alternative solutions such as Copper and Silver Ionisation. Indeed both copper and silver have been applied for centuries because of their biocidal mechanisms. When an low voltage electric current is applied, positive copper and silver ions are created and disinfect the water flowing between the copper and silver terminals.

Copper-Silver Ionisation has already been installed in over 120 hospitals throughout the UK to help control legionella, when other solutions have failed.