At Swiftclean, our dedicated team of specialists deliver fast, effective and professional Legionella sampling, testing, and monitoring solutions for social housing properties owned or managed by the council, housing association or local authorities.
Our comprehensive Legionella services are tailored to fulfil the unique requirements of each individual client and their properties, whether that’s as a one-off visit or as part of an ongoing maintenance strategy. By managing and preventing suitable conditions for Legionella bacteria to thrive and in turn from contaminating the building’s water system, we help to create a cleaner, healthier and safer environment for tenants that live there.
The Dangers of Legionella
Legionella is a type of bacteria frequently found in water sources such as hot and cold-water systems, hot tubs, shower heads, fountains, cooling towers and water storage tanks. When the water in these systems is infiltrated by nutrients such as organic matter, sediment, rust, sludge, and scale, it can encourage the bacteria to multiply rapidly to dangerously high levels.
Legionella mainly causes two illnesses;
- Legionnaires’ Disease – this is a severe form of pneumonia or lung infection that in some cases can have long term health complications or even prove fatal.
- Pontiac Fever – this is an upper respiratory tract illness which presents a lot like flu and although it is typically less severe than Legionnaires’ disease it can still make people very unwell, especially the elderly, young infants and those who are vulnerable.
Get a quote
The method of contraction for both is the same; by inhaling airborne aerosolised droplets of contaminated water containing the Legionella bacteria. It can only be transmitted this way through direct inhalation, it is not contagious so cannot be spread from person to person.
Through proper Legionella risk assessments, testing, cleaning and monitoring, your water systems can remain clean and free from contamination to keep the tenants and residents safe and healthy.
Managing Legionella in Social Housing Properties
Do I need to inform my social housing tenants about Legionella?
Landlords or managers of social housing have a responsibility to make their tenants aware of the risk of Legionella and inform them that water hygiene is necessary to control or prevent Legionella.
How and at what intervals should the water systems be checked?
It is expected that each building manager is equipped with a water system logbook that they use to record the results of Legionella control monitoring tasks and keep for at least five years. This will include things such as;
- Weekly flushing of outlets that are not frequently used
- Monthly temperature tests across a selection of representative outlets from the various systems. These must be carried out in accordance with the HSE’s approved code of practice for Legionella management – L8, and carefully recorded.
- Quarterly descaling of shower heads and taps where accessible.
- Annual inspections of calorifiers and water tanks which must also be entered in the logbook.
Not all building managers have the experience or expertise to deal with Legionella management and control, so outsourcing this task to a specialist company makes both sound legal and economic sense.
Can someone in-house perform a Legionella risk assessment?
Whilst it is the legal duty of the social housing manager or landlord to safeguard against a Legionella outbreak, they are not legally required to use an external company to do so. Instead, those in charge can nominate a ‘competent person’ to carry out a Legionella risk assessment and all subsequent requirements and paperwork.
However, Legionella is not something that should be taken lightly, in the event that an outbreak was to occur, and tenants became unwell or worse, if it cannot be proven that all necessary measures were taken to prevent it, then the organisation or person responsible can be liable with fines, penalties or even prison.
What are the benefits of using a specialist Legionella control company?
Outsourcing to a specialist in Legionella control will ensure that;
- A comprehensive Legionella control regime is implemented and maintained
- You are compliant to the necessary standards and legal requirements
- Detailed, meticulous records are produced and kept for proof of compliance
- Testing, cleaning and monitoring is done on a cost-effective basis
- The properties are safe and free from Legionella
Legionella Control Services
Compliance with the legal requirements on the issue of Legionella control is crucial and the wellbeing of tenants is something that simply can’t be ignored or neglected.
From risk assessments and testing to cleaning and monitoring, our experts at Swiftclean work with you from the beginning to help establish a cost-effective strategy that will deliver effective Legionella control solutions, tailored to your needs.
If you have any questions about Legionella testing services for social housing or would like to speak to one of our knowledgeable experts then please get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to help.