Preparing for the Opening of Schools

Three schools in Wales have been closed after bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease was found in pipes. To prevent this happening, there are official regulations that schools and universities need to meet regarding legionella in order to prevent outbreaks, please see the guidance below recommended from the department of education.

School buildings that have been completely or partially closed, should be recommissioned as you would normally do at the end of the school summer holiday period.

A member of staff should be identified for managing premises, reviewing risk assessments and implementing any measures to ensure that safety is maintained for wider opening.

Water Systems

Schools increasing operational capacity or re-opening should follow their usual water system building management procedures as they would at the end of the summer holidays.

Chlorinating and flushing water systems may not be necessary if the system has remained operational through routine flushing as advised in the cold-water systems and domestic hot water services sections.

You should contact your school’s legionella competent person who will advise on the action required. If a full system flush is required but not immediately available seek advice from your competent person on alternative options.

Drinking Water

If it has not been possible to maintain system throughput of water from routine flushing to all outlets or a competent person has not tested the water and provided satisfactory bacterial test results, the water may not be safe to drink. In these circumstances, you should supply bottled drinking water until a thorough flushing and chlorination can be undertaken by a water treatment specialist.

Hot Water Services

Water temperatures must be kept within limits recommended for the control of legionella bacteria in water systems.

Regularly check hot water generation for functionality and if required, temperature recording.

If the hot water system has been left operational the hot water should be circulating as normal and regular checks should be carried out.

Legionella Risk Assessment

The first step in the control and management of Legionella is to undertake a Legionella Risk Assessment.  To do this you need a competent person or company to carry out the assessment. GES Water Ltd are accredited with UKAS 17020 Legionella Assessment.

The risk assessment will cover every aspect of your water systems and identify the level of risk and provide the basis of a control and management programme to minimise any problems.

Remember, if we can be of any assistance with returning your buildings to service by carrying out system disinfections, sampling, and/or water quality checks please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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