What is Legionella?

Legionnaires' Disease is a potentially fatal form of Pneumonia which can affect anybody, but principally affects those who are susceptible because of age, illness, immunosuppression or smoking.

It is caused by the bacterium Legionella Pneumophila and related bacteria that can be found naturally in environmental water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, usually in low numbers. As they are commonly found in environmental sources they may also be found in purpose built water systems such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers and whirlpool spas.

If conditions are favourable the bacterium may grow creating conditions in which the risk from Legionnaires' Disease is increased. It is therefore important to control the risks by introducing measures outlined in the Approved Code of Practice & guidance document Legionnaires' disease - The control of legionella bacteria in water systems (L8).

Legionella ACoP L8 Management
Legionnaires' disease occurs as a result of infections caused by the legionellaceae family of bacteria. It is a form of pneumonia which results in around 250 identified cases a year and can prove fatal, especially to the elderly or those prone to respirable problems. Legionnaires disease is contracted by inhaling small droplets of water suspended in air which contain the legionella bacterium.

Legionnaires bacteria occurs naturally in surface water and soils etc but can also proliferate within man made environments such as cooling towers, hot and cold distribution systems, water plants, humidifiers and air washers.

Proliferation of the bacteria typically occurs between 20°C - 45°C and is assisted by the presence of suitable nutrients present in dirt, sludge and scale as well as conditions of poor water flow, stagnation or where dead legs occur in water systems.

Employers are required to control the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria in accordance with Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations. This is achieved by following the Approved Code of Practice L8 The Control of Legionella (Bacteria in Water Systems). In general, these require the employer to conduct the following:

• Identification & assessment of the risk
• Prevention or minimisation of risk from exposure to Legionella
• Systems for the management, selection, training and competence of personnel
• Record keeping of maintenance, cleaning and disinfection

How can 4i WS Ltd help you?
4iWS staff will work with you and your organisation to ensure the risk from legionella is minimised. Whether it's reviewing and updating risk assessments or conducting routine testing and sampling or advising on appropriate control strategies, you can feel rest assured in choosing 4i that the risk from legionella will be controlled giving you the client ‘Peace of Mind’.

Find out how our water treatment solution experts can help you today