Watercare operates a Covid-19 secure policy, please ask for a copy of our latest Covid-19 operational risk assessment.
When visiting our offices or site, make an appointment as we may be remote working and always wear a face mask.
Existing risk assessments may be extended where Watercare carries out the monitoring to avoid Covid-19 contact which is the greater risk at the present time. Assessors will risk assess the risk to the assessor and staff at the site of carrying out an inspection.
Where systems are under control and monitored by Watercare, in line with guidance from the HSE and LCA small gaps in monitoring may be acceptable, where circumstances arise.
Legionella risks during the coronavirus pandemic
Employers, the self-employed, and people in control of premises, such as landlords, have a duty to protect people by identifying and controlling risks associated with legionella.
If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.
You should review your risk assessment and manage the legionella risks when you:
- reinstate a water system or start using it again
- restart some types of air conditioning units
If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.
You can find out what Legionnaires’ disease is, where it comes from, how people get it, and symptoms and treatment by reading the HSE guidance
Hot and cold water systems
If hot and cold water outlets are used infrequently, flush them weekly to prevent water stagnation. If you cannot do this, work with your competent person or Watercare to ensure systems are cleaned (if required) and disinfected before the building is occupied. In accordance with HSG 274 part 2
Air conditioning units
If your workplace has been closed for an extended period and has air conditioning units that have a source of water that can generate an aerosol, you will need to assess the risks of legionella being present within them before restarting.
Small, wall or ceiling-mounted units with closed cooling systems should not present a risk.
Larger units may present a risk if they have improperly drained condensate trays, or humidifiers, or evaporative cooling sections where water can stagnate, becoming a reservoir for bacteria to grow.
When you review your risk assessment, decide what the risks are for your units and if you need to clean them safely before they are turned on.
Commercial spa pools and hot tubs
If commercial spa pools and hot tubs are:
- being used, you must maintain the existing control regimes
- not being used, you should drain, clean, and disinfect them. You should also clean and disinfect them before reinstatement in accordance with HSG 282
Getting specialist help
You may need advice from a competent person and/or specialist to help you identify and implement suitable controls for legionella.