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Swiftclean welcomes Water Safety Plans as BS 8680:2020 is introduced

Legionella risk specialist Swiftclean has welcomed the introduction of BS 8680:2020, which has firmly established the concept of a Water Safety Plan (WSP), in order to ensure the provision of a healthy domestic water supply.

The Water Safety Plan applies at every stage, from the initial design of a new water system, through to ongoing cleanliness and prevention of waterborne diseases, as part of ongoing long-term property management. David Randlesome, National Sales Manager for Swiftclean’s Legionella Services explained,

“BS 8680:2020 does, in practice, describe a code of practice which encourages the adoption of best practice and compliance across the industry. The WSP is a really positive measure that will help to ensure greater adherence to the principles of risk management and will put water safety higher on the agenda at every stage of a property’s lifecycle.”

The new BS 8680:2020 has been introduced in order to highlight the need to prevent chemical, biological, physical and radiological contamination of the water supply of individual buildings. This new British Standard sets out guidance and recommendations for developing a Water Safety Plan for new and altered building water systems, to ensure that water is safe and fit for purpose at its point of use. It applies both to the water itself and to aerosols (fine spray of water arising from activities such as flushing) which may affect end users.

The formulation of the WSP will involve a range of property and construction professionals and describes the following stages: design and specification; construction and installation; commissioning; maintenance; operation; alteration and refurbishment and deconstruction.

BS 8680:2020 is particularly welcome, says Swiftclean, due to the risks created by poor design and management of water systems; most notably outbreaks of diseases such as Legionnaires’ Disease caused by Legionella bacteria in water. The establishment of a WSP is the most effective way of ensuring consistency in approach from design and construction, through commissioning to ongoing long-term management. The WSP helps to identify all potential risks to public health from a property’s water supply and focuses on the steps taken to minimise risk and ensure its safety, cleanliness and overall health.

Moreover, the WSP will also provide firm criteria against which an audit can be carried out, as it provides indicators against which to assess risk management measures and routine maintenance.

BS 8680:2020 will be applied to; all new buildings; modifications to existing water systems in established properties; and retrospective applications to control risks to health from all types of water use.  It has been introduced in addition to national water quality regulations which already govern regulated drink water supplies; and in addition to BS 8580, which already covers risk assessment for Legionella or Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

“With public health so high on the national agenda at the moment, this new measure, which helps to secure the integrity of our water supplies and, therefore, to promote wellbeing for all end users, is both timely and welcome,” adds Randlesome.