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Council issues reminder to business owners on the risk of Legionella

23rd April 2020

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Environmental Health Service has issued a reminder to business owners regarding the risk of Legionella developing in vacant properties where water is allowed to stagnate within water systems. 

Speaking about the Legionella risk, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie said “at this very challenging time, when most businesses have been closed for a significant time due to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, it is important that business owners reduce the risk of Legionella developing by not allowing water to stagnate in the water systems inside their premises.“

This advice is particularly pertinent to work places that have hot and cold water systems such as sports and leisure businesses, hotels, campsites etc and to premises that have swimming & spa facilities.

Business owners should ensure that where they have hot and cold water systems on their premises, they should implement a suitable flushing regime which would ensure that the system is flushed at least on a weekly basis to maintain a degree of water flow and to minimise the chances of stagnation. 

Alternatively, if the property is to remain vacant for a considerable time, it may be worth considering draining the system.

Water quality in other systems such as spa pools etc should be managed and you will need to decide whether to maintain or shut down these systems.  Managing risks during non-occupancy will also involve reviewing your risk assessments and maintenance arrangements. 

For further advice on managing the Legionella risk during non-occupancy, please  contact the Council’s Environmental Health Service by telephone on 0300 303 1777 or click on the following links: https://www.escmid.org/fileadmin/src/media/PDFs/3Research_Projects/ESGLI/COVId_buidling_water_system_guidance_27_3_20_v4_DS.pdf and https://www.pwtag.org/guidance-on-temporary-pool-closure/