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Legionella control in the University of Sheffield Legionella Awareness for Departmental representatives

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Legionella control in the University of Sheffield Legionella Awareness for Departmental representatives. What is Legionella?. A naturally occurring bacterium Found in most water systems Often present in mains water Easily colonises most domestic water systems – hot and cold.

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Legionella control in the University of SheffieldLegionella Awareness for Departmental representatives
what is legionella
What is Legionella?
  • A naturally occurring bacterium
  • Found in most water systems
  • Often present in mains water
  • Easily colonises most domestic water systems – hot and cold
requirements for growth
Requirements for Growth?
  • Optimum temperature range of 20 - 45 ⁰C
  • Food source (other bacteria & sediments)
  • Prefers stagnant conditions
route of infection
Route of Infection?
  • Primarily through inhalation of aerosols, fine droplets & mists
  • Can be contracted by choking on contaminated water
  • Statistically most susceptible

- 50 to 70 year olds

- Males

- Smokers

legionnaire s disease
Legionnaire’s Disease
  • Potentially fatal form of pneumonia –

5-30% fatality rate

  • 200-300 cases of infection in England & Wales annually
  • Incubation period 2-10 days - typically 3-6days
  • Legionella pneumophila – 23 sub types
  • HSE view Legionnaire's Disease as “preventable” assuming management failure!
  • The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • COSHH 2002
  • ACOP L8 (see front cover)
l8 guide to successful control
L8 Guide to Successful Control


  • Management regime in place
  • Risk Assessments
  • Control regime
  • Maintenance and upgrade
  • Review
risk assessments should
Risk Assessments should:
  • Identify & quantify relevant wet systems plus equipment holding / circulating water
  • Assess potential for Legionella growth
  • Identify who is at risk
  • Assess the potential for bacterial transfer
  • Quantify and prioritise the risks
  • Determine suitable means of control
uos responsibilities 1
UoS Responsibilities 1
  • Statutory Duty Holder who is ultimately responsible – Registrar & Secretary
  • Appointed Responsible Person for day to day management – Director of Estates
  • Deputy Responsible Person to cover holidays and illness – Head of Engineering Operations
  • Responsibility cannot be delegated
uos responsibilities 2
UoS Responsibilities 2
  • Policy for the Control of Legionella bacteria
  • Management structure in place with Contractors charged with carrying out: -
    • Legionella Risk assessments of all buildings
    • Treatment of water assets where required
    • Sampling and analysis of water systems
    • Remedial works incl. removing “dead-legs”
  • 5 Zones - Engineers managing Contractors
current position
Current Position
  • Current regime in place for > 2 years
  • 95% buildings assessed (some low risk o/s)
  • Current costs ~ £250,000 pa
  • Monitoring of sample results on-line
  • Legionella Procedures Manual in place
  • Legionella Control Steering Group – 3 meetings per year chaired by Prof R F Jackson
  • Policy and Procedures on Safety Services


typical systems at risk
Typical Systems at Risk
  • Cooling Towers
  • Domestic hot & cold water systems
  • Water features incl. ornamental fountains
  • Equipment producing aerosols, mists or droplets from stored water sources including showers & humidifiers
  • Equipment holding / circulating

water at 20 - 45⁰ C

examples of lab workshop equipment
Examples of lab & workshop equipment
  • Water tanks & baths
  • Spray taps
  • Water recirculation systems for cooling
  • Rarely used taps & showers (even at home)
  • Misting equipment
  • Dentistry tools
  • Oil / water emulsions for

lubricating lathes

  • Mobile AC equipment with water
controlling legionella bacteria
Controlling Legionella bacteria
  • Temperature monitoring
  • Controlled release of water spray
  • Avoid temp. conditions 20 - 45⁰ C
  • Avoid water stagnation - empty & clean regularly
  • Avoid materials which harbour bacteria
  • Maintain cleanliness of spray outlets
  • Water treatment where necessary
  • Ensure correct & safe operation of system
  • Flushing regime for rarely-used outlets
what departments need to do 1
What Departments need to do - 1
  • Identify a Nominated Person to help you manage Legionella risks in your Department
  • Identify & record all : -
    • water-containing equipment which operates in the temperature range 20-45⁰C
    • all rarely-used taps & showers
    • all equipment supplied from stored water sources producing sprays, mists or aerosols
  • Assess the risk of Legionella growth in each
what departments need to do 2
What Departments need to do - 2
  • Check Legionella Procedures Manual for information of the management of specific items of laboratory equipment
  • If your equipment is not listed, determine the best means of reducing Legionella risks – if needed, contact Department of Estates for help
  • Consider which treatment options are the most appropriate from the next slide
treatment remedial options
Treatment / remedial options
  • Monitor temperatures; 20-45⁰C = risk range
  • Every 2 weeks - heat water to 60⁰C for 5 mins
  • Add disinfectants / Chloros as advised
  • Empty out the water system, thoroughly clean & refill with fresh water every month
  • Clean & disinfect spray heads every month
  • Flush rarely-used outlets weekly
  • Arrange with Estates for removal of “dead-legs”
  • Arrange with Estates for samples to be taken if risk exists (sampling is NOT a control measure – it takes 10 days for results to be sent through – it monitors whether your controls work)
next step
Next step
  • Record all actions taken and results received.
  • Review the efficacy of the treatment regime by checking the results of analyses received
  • Re-assess the risk assessment if there are any changes to the operating parameters or the system layout
drinking water coolers
Drinking water coolers
  • 2 types generally available:
    • Using large bottles of mineral water
    • Plumbed-in units
  • Legionella is not reported to be a problem with water bottle coolers, usually work outside “critical temperature range”,
  • 1 reported instance of Legionella bacteria being isolated from Activated Carbon filters in a plumbed-in unit in New Zealand – replace as recommended by manufacturer.