Legionella Control

Legionella Control in Water Systems

Legionnaires’ disease or Legionellosis is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia. People may get infected when they breathe in tiny water droplets (aerosols) or droplet nuclei (particles left after the water has evaporated) contaminated with elevated concentrations of Legionella bacteria.

Legionella bacteria grow best between temperatures of 20°C – 45°C, with optimum growth temperature being 35°C – 40°C. High temperatures (minimum 60°C) usually kill the bacteria.

Legionella bacteria are found in low numbers in natural aquatic environments, for instance, lakes, rivers and ground water. As a result, it is virtually impossible to prevent Legionella bacteria entering man-made water systems.

In low numbers the bacteria are generally considered harmless. With the correct conditions, for example, warm water, the presence of micro-organisms and nutrients in the water or materials such as rust, these bacteria can grow and multiply to high levels which increase the risk of exposure.

The bacteria tend to grow in biofilms (slime). Biofilms are likely to form on surfaces where there is low water flow or water is allowed to stagnate. However the growth of Legionella bacteria can be controlled.

Your responsibilities

As a buildings/facilities manager or Responsible Person, you have clear responsibilities around the control of Legionella bacteria in your water systems. Specifically, you MUST:

  • Identify and assess sources of risk using competent help and advice;
  • Prepare a scheme for preventing or controlling the risk;
  • Implement, manage and monitor precautions;
  • Keep records of the precautions;
  • Appoint a person to be managerially responsible.

Legionella Control

HBE is audited by and a certified member of the Legionella Control Association across the UK and Ireland. We provide the following services to help the building manager to discharge their duties and obligations relating to the control of legionella bacteria in water systems:

Legionella Risk Assessments

  • Work is undertaken by highly qualified consultants
  • Schematic drawings are always used
  • Priority of Risk
  • Soft & hard copies of Risk Assessments are produced
  • Risk Assessment access & management 24/7 through our Compliance Management Software System, HBE manager

Remedial Actions (see Water hygiene page for more details)

  • Clean & disinfection of domestic hot & cold water systems, CWSTs (old or new)
  • Clean & disinfection of new mains pipework and reservoirs
  • Tank replacement programmes
  • Tank refurbishment and relining programmes
  • Pre-commission cleaning of pipework

Sampling, Flushing and Monitoring Programmes

  • Treatment and monitoring of closed circuits
  • Showerhead cleaning programmes
  • Deadleg flushing programmes
  • On-line dosing systems
  • Provision of either hard copy or electronic logbooks
  • Provision of technicians to carry out sentinel temperature monitoring & logbook maintenance
  • Remote temperature testing and remote flushing technology specialists
  • Bar-coding of outlets
  • Legionella, Pseudomonas and microbiological sampling programmes.

For more information about Legionella Risk Assessments and advice on how to implement a Legionella Management programme, email enquiries@hberm.com or call LoCall 0333 207 5744 / 1890 201018 from Ireland.

The Legislation & Guidelines for Legionella Control

Read more about the HSE Legionella Risk Groupings

We adhere to and utilise the following documents, when devising legionella control programmes:

UK Legionella related legislation

  • Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 as amended 2003 & 2006
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 as amended 2003 & 2004
  • CIBSE TM13 – Minimising the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease
  • UK HSE document L8 – Legionnaires’ Disease, The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems: Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and Guidance (Version 4) and HSG274 Parts 1, 2 & 3.
  • BS8558 +A1:2009 – Design, Installation, Testing & Maintenance of services supplying water for domestic use within buildings and their curtilages.
  • HSG220 – Health & Safety in Care Homes (June 2014)
  • HTM 04-01 – The control of Legionella, hygiene, “safe” hot water, cold water and drinking water systems
  • Scottish HTM 04-01 The control of Legionella, hygiene, “safe” hot water, cold water and drinking water systems
  • BS 7592 – Sampling for Legionella Bacteria in water systems. Code of Practice BSI.

Republic of Ireland Legionella related legislation

  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (No. 10 of 2005)
  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007 (S.I. No. 299 of 2007)
  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 1994, as amended in 1998 (S.I. No. 146 of 1994 and S.I. 248 of 1998)
  • Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations 2001, as amended in 1998 (S.I. No. 619 of 2001)
  • National Guidelines for the Control of Legionellosis in Ireland, 2009

Northern Ireland Legionella related legislation

  • Health & Safety at Work Order (NI) 1978 (as amended 2000)
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations (NI) 2000 as amended 2003 & 2006
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (NI) 2003 as amended 2005
  • CIBSE TM13 – Minimising the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease
  • UK HSE document L8 – Legionnaires Disease, The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems: Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and Guidance (Version 4) and HSG274 Parts 1, 2 & 3.
  • HSG220 – Health & Safety in Care Homes (June 2014)
  • HTM04-01 – The control of Legionella, hygiene, “safe” hot water, cold water and drinking water systems
  • BS8558 +A1:2009 – Design, Installation, Testing & Maintenance of services supplying water for domestic use within buildings and their curtilages.

*All reports are issued by the Group Administration Head Office in Newry.

Recent News

  • Legionella bacteria hbe

£1 million fine imposed on Hot Tub store after 2012 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak

July 10th, 2017|Comments Off on £1 million fine imposed on Hot Tub store after 2012 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak

A Discount Warehouse store has been fined £1m for their failings in 2012, where a Legionnaires' disease outbreak was caused by a display hot tub in the store, where 21 people were infected with Legionella bacteria, two of whom died.

  • HSG282 Legionella control in Spa Pools Jan2017

Spa Pool Technical Guidance HSG282 released

February 13th, 2017|Comments Off on Spa Pool Technical Guidance HSG282 released

HSE's technical guidance HSG282: The control of legionella and other infectious agents in Spa-Pool systems has been released.

  • Legionella bacteria hbe

Care Home chain resident dies of Legionnaires’ Disease

October 4th, 2016|Comments Off on Care Home chain resident dies of Legionnaires’ Disease

An inquest has heard that both process & training requirements were ignored at the Essex care home of a well known chain before the death of a resident from Legionnaires' disease.

  • Legionella bacteria hbe

Company fined £1.8m for Legionella management failings

September 7th, 2016|Comments Off on Company fined £1.8m for Legionella management failings

A large UK Company has been fined £1.8m after Harlow Council prosecuted the company for failing to manage Legionella risks on its sites.

  • HTM04-01 Water Hygiene Services HBE

How does the new HTM04-01 healthcare guidance affect you?

June 8th, 2016|Comments Off on How does the new HTM04-01 healthcare guidance affect you?

In May 2016 the Department of Health released new Guidance for Safe Water in Healthcare documentation, Health Technical Memorandum HTM04-01.