BUSINESS and premises owners are urged to ensure they are aware of the Legionella risks in vacant properties where water is allowed to stagnate.
The issue is particularly relevant following government advice asking people to work from home where it is possible to do so.
As a general principle, outlets on hot and cold water systems should be used at least once a week to maintain a degree of water flow and to minimise the chances of stagnation.
To manage the risks during non-occupancy, consideration should be given to implementing a suitable flushing regime or other measures such as draining the system if it is to remain vacant for long periods.
This guidance also applies to workplaces that have become less occupied.
In addition, consideration must be given to other water systems that are no longer in use, such as leisure, sports and swimming and spa pool facilities.
For these facilities, you should follow the procedures described in the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group Code of Practice which can be found at https://www.pwtag.org/code-of-practice/
Guidance has also been produced by the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease on managing Legionella in building water systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This information can be found here: https://www.escmid.org/fileadmin/src/media/PDFs/3Research_Projects/ESGLI/COVId_buidling_water_system_guidance_27_3_20_v4_DS.pdf