SAS Water Ltd warns to guard against Legionella growth if buildings are locked down

Legionella control experts SAS Water Ltd are seeing an upturn of enquiries regarding water safety if premises need to be locked down due to the current coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The Leek-based company works with companies and public sector organisations across the UK including hotels, leisure centres, holiday parks, factories, social housing companies and care homes.

Managing Director Lizzie Ward said: “It is clear that the advice to self-isolate, combined with more workers showing symptoms of the virus, is going to shut down a lot of business places. So far, we have been informed of factories, leisure facilities, pubs, cafes, restaurants and holiday parks which are potentially mothballing facilities.

“This means, for example, there will be many shower blocks and washrooms left empty.

“Stagnant water is amongst the biggest factors in the growth of Legionella bacteria – showers must be flushed regularly and water testing needs to be continued.

We have received advice from our professional body, the Legionnaire Control Association (LCA), which states that there is a significant element of work by LCA members that must be completed on site and is likely to be time critical.

“This means that building managers must be made aware of their responsibilities under the law and how their actions may be compromising their control of legionella. The LCA has advised legionella control companies to offer pragmatic solutions if possible, to ensure ongoing control including safe shutdown of water systems if a building is to be closed.

“Our staff will still need access to premises. We are committed to working safety and our consultants will follow protocols to ensure ‘social distancing’ is practiced, hands are repeatedly washed with soap and water and, of course, we have told staff not to shake hands with clients. We’re aware that clients may have their own protocols in place and we are ensuring all requests are complied with.

“Where buildings or water systems are isolated during the COVID-19 outbreak, a risk assessment will be required before reopening. “

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