BUSINESSES that have been closed for a long period in the latest Covid-19 lockdown are being advised to take precautions around Legionella.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s environmental health team is letting people know of a few simple actions they should take when returning to premises that have been empty for some time.
Legionella is a bacteria that can grow in hot and cold water systems when not in use.
The bacteria can grow to harmful levels, and if water systems are not flushed through it could cause Legionnaires’ Disease, a type of pneumonia that can cause serious illness, when people start using the system again.
The risk tends to increase during warmer weather and where equipment produces water aerosols, for example showers, high pressure hoses and misters.
The council’s environmental health team are reminding businesses to take the necessary steps to ensure they are compliant before re-opening.
As a general principle, outlets on hot and cold water systems should be used at least once a week to maintain a degree of water flow and minimise the chances of water stagnating.
If a premises is vacant for a long period, consideration should be given to a suitable flushing regime or draining the system to avoid water stagnation.
Holiday accommodation and spa facilities also need to consider the implications of bringing spa pools back into use – such systems having been linked in the past to a number of outbreaks in leisure centres, hotels and holiday homes where they have not been adequately maintained.