We are experts in undertaking legionella risk assessments and reviews

In the past 40 years, since the identification of the first recognised outbreak of legionnaires’ disease at the Bellevue–Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, USA, several outbreaks have been reported in the UK, including Edinburgh, Cardiff and Barrow-in-Furness, at Stafford and Kingston hospitals and at the BBC studios in London. Legionellosis is the collective term for the diseases that legionella bacteria cause, including the most serious legionnaires’ disease and less deadly Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, and everyone is susceptible to infection. The risk increases with age, but some people are at higher risk, including

  • people aged over 45
  • smokers and heavy drinkers
  • people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease, diabetes, lung or heart disease
  • anyone with an impaired immune system.

A common misconception is that outbreaks of the disease are caused by air conditioning or cooling towers. Recorded outbreaks have arisen from domestic hot- and cold-water systems, spa baths and hot tubs.

Legionella pneumophila and related bacteria are common in natural water sources, such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, usually in low numbers. They also occur in purpose-built water systems, such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot- and cold-water systems and spa pools. If conditions are favourable in these human-made systems, the bacteria colonies may grow, increasing the risks users contracting legionnaires’ disease.

As such, it is important to control the risks by introducing appropriate measures, as outlined in The Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L8 – Legionnaires’ disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems.

EDP’s water hygiene team offers

  • Legionella risk assessments to ACOP L8 Edition 4 and BS 8580:2010
  • Legionella risk reviews to ACOP L8 Edition 4 and BS 8580:2010 standards, Legionnaires’ disease: Technical guidance HSG274 and Health Technical Memorandum 04-01, Safe water in healthcare premises: Part B: Operational management
  • Water sampling and analysis by a UKAS-accredited laboratory
  • Cleaning and disinfection of water services, including cold water storage tanks
  • Consultancy and training services

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