Legionella Risk Assessment & Migitation

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Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal condition contracted by inhaling small droplets of water containing legionella bacteria. Certain environmental conditions increase the risk of legionella growth, including water tanks, cooling towers, and water temperatures between 20 degrees and 45 degrees C.

In the United Arab Emirates, every business or person in control of premises is required to carry out a regular legionella risk assessment to identify possible sources of legionella in their building and associated water systems, and to take the necessary action to control the risk. There are strict guidelines related to the maintenance requirements, for water related infrastructure, to mitigate the risks of Legionella growth.

Legionella Risk Assessments should be carried out on all hot and cold water systems, cooling water systems water features (with volumes equal to or more than 1m3), spas, pools, jacuzzis, car/bus scrubbers, wet scrubbers, fountains, evaporative coolers and water storage tanks. We recommend that risk assessments should be reviewed least every 24 months, or if there are changes to the system or responsibility structure. A risk assessment aims to access a system in its entirety, and clearly identify all of the legionella risks that are present within the system. From the legionella risk assessment, a water control regime can be developed to ensure that all the risks identified are managed as efficiently as possible and reduce the risk in the system.

ALPHA Environmental Solutions Risk Assessments typically include the following:

  • Inspection of any tanks, water heaters, calorifiers, cooling towers, hot and cold water distribution systems, water features, pools, fountains, spas and jaccuzis with a special emphasis on those water systems that can produce a spray or mist.
  • Evaluation of planned preventive maintenance procedures for all of the above systems to ensure that they can adequately address the identified risks.
  • Evaluation of other ambient characteristics such as temperature and nutrient levels, to ensure they are not at a level to promote the growth of bacteria.
  • The production of an asset register.
  • Cataloguing of digital photographs of the above systems to record the operational condition.
  • Schematics of all of the above system components.
  • Development of a Responsibility Matrix to ensure that all parties involved know the level of responsibility they have for the up keep and maintenance of the water system including chemical treatment and other planned preventive maintenance tasks.
  • Recommendations for remedial works required to bring the system within the guidelines as set out in L8 and local municipal requirements.
  • Implementation of a Logbook system to record all maintenance and monitoring tasks.
  • The above would be used to produce a set of recommendations to ensure compliance with local and international best practices for Legionella control.