31 Jul 2016

Legionella is a strange and mysterious thing to most people. It’s a word that, to many, relates directly to illness and death. So when the news reports that there is a legionella outbreak somewhere in the country, panic can start to ensue, as it did after the 2002 Barrow in Furness outbreak.

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Perhaps this is why so many myths have grown up around legionella – these stories make things less scary. There are some myths that seem to have stuck, myths that, unfortunately, can lead to more problems than ever. Believing incorrect facts to be true could cause more cases of legionella in the end.

No Cold Water Storage Tank = No Legionella

The idea of taking out a building’s cold water storage tank and removing the problem of legionella bacteria within a building completely is a comforting one. And it doesn’t sound like it would cost that much money. But it would also be a pointless exercise since, unless the pipework relating to that tank was also completely removed, the problem could still remain. Dead legs within a building are a major cause of legionella bacteria – stagnant water collects in them and that, coupled with the ideal temperature for legionella proliferation as well as potential corrosion, means that legionella bacteria can breed. It can breed, and it can leech back into the water system for the rest of the building…

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As Long As The Water Is Hot, It’s Okay

Temperature is just one of many controls for legionella that work together to eradicate the problem. Temperature control alone is a good start, but it will not be a permanent solution; and it could see your energy bills rocketing. It could also lead to problems with scalding. Not only that, but very high temperatures will cause scale to build up within the pipework of your building – and scale is the perfect environment for legionella to make its home.

 

You Can’t Get Legionella From A Shower

Wrong. Just so very wrong. Showerheads are possibly the most dangerous thing of all in a building that has legionella bacteria in its water system. Legionella bacteria enters the body by being inhaled in aerosol form, and spray (exactly like that which comes from a showerhead) is just that – an aerosol. Unless you don’t breathe when you’re in the shower (unlikely) then you will inhale minute droplets of water when you’re washing.

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Controlling Legionella Is A Huge Expense

No, controlling legionella is not – usually – expensive. Or at least, it is not as expensive as the lawsuits and fines for health and safety breaches that will occur if someone contracts legionnaires’ disease from your building and it is proven that there were no – or inadequate – controls in place.

A regular water hygiene monitoring regime that includes legionella control is essential, and it could surprise you just how inexpensive it really can be.

Why not contact Legionella First today to find out about how we can help you ensure your building, and the people within it, is safe from legionella bacteria.

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