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While the cat’s away, the legionella breeds

By August 29, 2013News

Not using a property for a week or two gives you a chance to attend to some running repairs and maintenance that are difficult to address while the property is in full use, especially if it’s a factory working 24 hours a day, or a catering establishment working long hours every day. But it also means you’re not using water very much; and that could allow legionella to infiltrate your water systems.

In July we experienced our first prolonged, genuinely warm weather. Lovely for some, but if that was your shutdown period the combination of heat and water standing motionlessin tanks and water pipes gives you the perfect breeding ground for legionella bacteria. Although temperatures have cooled a bit in August, they’re still warm enough to foster the growth of legionella bacteria.

Of course, you will do a thorough clean of your premises before opening again but this is often after the taps haven’t been run and the pipes haven’t been flushed for many days. And that means that it will be your cleaners who may bear the brunt of any legionella outbreak when they come in to do the much needed deep clean.

A legionella outbreak can result in prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and, for a conviction in a Crown Court, it can mean a limitless fine. In the case of negligence and a fatality due to legionella, it can even mean a prosecution for corporate manslaughter for owners, directors or managers.

So it really pays to bring in an expert. Swiftclean is a member of The Legionella Control Association (LCA). Our teams are expert at legionella risk assessment and control, as well as cleaning to the LCA code of conduct and L8, BSRIA and CIBSE guidelines, giving your property the best chance of being and staying legionella free – whatever the season.