If you’re an employer, landlord or property manager you have a legal duty in relation to the risks associated with Legionella. Ignoring those risks is not acceptable and taking anything less than a regimented attitude to Legionella Water Testing could have serious consequences.

Most businesses already know that. The trouble is, it’s a complex subject. All the information you need is available on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website, but when you look at the HSE Code of Practice you soon realise there’s a lot of info to take in.

If you want to find out about Legionella Water Testing, we’ve put together a more digestible version of that guidance.

Here’s a user-friendly guide to everything you need to know about Legionella Water Testing.

What is Legionella?


Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s Disease – a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.

According to the latest government data from Public Health England, there were 156 reported incidents of Legionnaires’ Disease in England and Wales in the first six months of this year. In 2018, 814 cases were reported in total.

Who needs to Test for Legionella?


Anyone who is responsible for water systems has certain duties under the Health and Safety law to ensure that water remains safe for users. Any type of commercial or residential property that is let out needs to be regularly tested for Legionella. However, landlords and small businesses are often unaware of their responsibilities.

How often should you Test for Legionella?


Before 2013, it was recommended that a Legionella risk assessment was carried out every two years or following changes to the system. Since then, more stringent guidelines have been put into place with a stronger emphasis on Legionella risk assessments.

Today, Legionella risk assessments need to be reviewed regularly. According to HSE guidelines, it is recommended to test for Legionella when:

· A water system is treated with biocides and water is stored/distributed at lower temperatures. Initial monthly testing will provide an early warning of any issues. Once there is confidence in the effectiveness of the regime, the frequency of testing can then be reviewed.
· The limits of a control regime (for example the temperature or concentration of disinfectant) are not consistently achieved. In this instance, weekly Legionella Water Testing should be carried out, as well as a thorough review of the system and treatment regimes. The frequency of testing can be reviewed once the system is brought back under control.
· There is a population of people with increased susceptibility or impaired immune systems (for example in healthcare premises or care homes).
· The water system has had a change of use or changes have been made to the system, pipework or assets.
· When current monitoring and management processes are no longer effective.
· When a Legionella outbreak is suspected or positive samples have been recorded.

How do I Test Water for Legionella?


When you use a Legionella water testing kit from Smartwater Testing, it’s easy to keep your employees, tenants, visitors and residents safe.

All you need to do is order your kit, fill the bottle(s), complete the form and book a free courier to collect the sample. The kits come with full instructions and total discretion is assured.

Once the samples have been sent, you will have the results 14 days later.

If the results are clear, you will receive a certificate declaring your premises Legionella-free. If not, Smartwater Testing work with water treatment specialists who can guide you through the process of getting your premises free of infection.

You can find more helpful tips about how to use a Legionella Water Testing kit on our blog.

What is a Legionella Risk Assessment?


Managing risks associated with Legionella is a legal requirement and the buck stops with the designated person within a business.

Fortunately, Legionella risk assessment is easy to do and can be carried out internally or by an external organisation. The risk assessment should include:

· Description of the system, management responsibilities, and training of key personnel
· Any identified potential risk sources
· Means of preventing risk or controls used to limit risks
· Monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures
· Records of results, inspections and checks
· Plans for reviewing the risk assessment regularly

If you would like to find out more about Legionella Testing Kits or get a quote, the team at Smartwater Testing can help. Our kits are affordable (from £41.50 plus VAT) and easy to use.

Contact us today to get answers to your questions.