Legionella & Water Quality
Legionnaire’s disease or legionellosis is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia but is wholly preventable. Legionella bacteria are commonly found in natural water systems such as rivers and lakes where their numbers are usually low, and they pose little risk. Many manmade water systems provide the ideal environment for legionella to multiply. As a general rule legionella likes Hot Water that is cool (Below 50 Centigrade), Cold Water that is warm (Above 20 Centigrade), Dirty and/or Stagnant Water. High risk systems which produce water vapour/aerosols include shower taps and baths, cooling towers, air conditioning units and hot tubs/Jacuzzis. The risk of contracting the disease from a contaminated water source is minimised by following the Approved Code of Practice by the HSE (ACoP L8).
C A Services provides an independent, professional & confidential service for controlling legionella and other bacteriological growth with domestic water systems. C A Services (NI) Ltd is a Legionella Control Association (LCA) registered company and a certified member of the LCA. C A Services is regularly audited and assessed by them for compliance with the Legionella Control Association’s Code of Conduct for Service Providers and the Service Standards for those legionella control services for which C A Services is registered. The management systems that have been developed and compliance with the Code and Service Standards means that C A Services is well placed to assist in controlling the legionella risk associated with the water systems for which it is registered.
As a duty holder if you have commercial premises or premises accessed by the public you must comply with current legislation that requires you to manage, maintain and treat water systems in your premises properly. We have the expertise to help your organisation meet its associated legal obligations, identify the risks, and recommend risk mitigation measures. Ultimately, we will help improve the health and safety at your premises using several innovative and effective methods.
Through regular auditing and inspections, we maintain the highest level of competency.
Various services that we offer are:
Water Risk Assessments – which is an in-depth water system assessment which addresses each site for the likelihood of legionella growth, and the level of exposure to the organism. The output of this assessment provides a comprehensive set of findings and an action plan with clear itemisation of priorities. The associated remedial work and on-going monitoring and control program is meticulously structured and prioritised according to risk rating and required resources.
Water Sampling – C A Services offer a water sampling technique depending on the type of outlet sampled and specific methodologies required. The frequency is determined by the level of risk, in accordance with the risk assessment. Once water samples have been collected, it’s imperative that these samples are handled, stored and transported appropriately with consideration for
Hot & Cold Water Monitoring – The frequency of inspecting and monitoring the hot and cold water systems will depend on their complexity and the susceptibility of those likely to use the water. The risk assessment should define the frequency of inspection and monitoring depending on the type of use and user and particularly where there are adjustments made by the assessor to take account of local needs.
Thermostatic Mixing Valve (TMV) Testing – a TMV is a precision device that blends hot and cold water together. They’re critical to reducing the risk of scalding, and in the UK their installation is mandatory in new buildings that have full-body water immersion fittings like a bath. The valve is usually installed directly into the outlet so that the mixing occurs just before the water is expelled from your shower or faucet. There are guidelines for how these valves should be installed and maintained, and if they’re not looked after properly, they can introduce further risks into the water system, like bacterial contaminations. Contact C A Services for all your TMV requirements.
Water Treatment – Water treatment removes contaminants and undesirable components or reduces their concentration so that the water becomes fit for its desired end-use. C A Services are proud to be the sole distributors of Sanipur in whole of Ireland, a global provider of water hygiene technologies.
Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Control – Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative bacterium commonly found in soil and ground water. Most community-acquired infections are associated with prolonged contact with contaminated water. It is increasingly important clinically as it is a major cause of both healthcare associated infections and chronic lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis. Although Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen, it can cause a wide range of infections, particularly among immunocompromised people.
Management of water systems requires surveillance and maintenance of control measures including temperature control, usage, cleaning and disinfection measures as identified within the risk assessment and Legionella control scheme for both hot- and cold-water systems. To prevent growth of P. aeruginosa, controls are necessary to manage the water system before and after the outlet. C A Services can undertake sampling regimes and support the building maintenance manager in taking effective measures should positive samples be found Chlorine, chlorine dioxide, ultraviolet are various treatments available which if suitably controlled will reduce levels considerably but may not eliminate the bacteria.
Clean & Disinfection – C A Services carry out cleaning and disinfection on domestic and cooling water systems including storage tanks and calorifiers should be inspected regularly and if necessary, physically cleaned and then disinfected. Cleaning and disinfection of the tank and services is recommended when there is visible evidence of any of the following: Sediment, Biofilm, Flora growth, Stagnant Water, Animal contamination, or Corrosion. The Pre-Commission cleaning of closed loop systems has become more important over recent years, due to the equipment being used more susceptible to blockages at control valves, strainers and small-bore pipe work.
RPZ Test and Commissioning – Reduced pressure zone (RPZ) valves are backflow protection devices and need to be checked on an annual basis to ensure continual capability of backflow protection. All commissioning and testing of these valves must be tested upon fitting, which is required to be done by a Plumber who is both experienced and educated to Water Regulations Advisory Scheme standards. Our engineers have completed a WRAS endorsed course and are qualified to carry out the testing and commissioning of RPZ installations.
Under the Water Industry Act 1991, property owners have a responsibility to ensure that every water system in their premises contains an acceptable device to prevent the backflow of water from connections between potable and non-potable water supplies. An RPZ device is usually installed onto plumbing systems to protect the water we drink and rid it of impurities and pollution. The reason water can become contaminated is because when there is a backflow of water, there is then a risk of pollution because the water can flow back into the system where it came from. Backflow of water poses one of the biggest risks of contamination to the mains water supply. Backflow can happen for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is when there is a reduction of pressure and this pressure reduction allows contaminated water to enter the drinking water supply.