The problem with Legionnaires’ disease is that the public has almost no way of knowing whether the water sources in the places they visit or stay in have already been contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Reports show patients contracting the disease from a wide variety of venues, including pools, hot tubs, hotels, care homes, hospitals, schools, supermarkets and more. Therefore, preventing the spread of Legionella virus relies hugely on the hands of the owners and managers of these public and commercial spaces.
Health authorities have established regulations and standard operating procedures for preventing Legionella infection specific to each industry or sector. The general guidelines emphasise the need for prevention by following industry water sanitation and treatment standards, as well as continuous monitoring of water systems. For many establishments, the use of a Legionnaires’ test kit helps in the efficient and accurate water testing against Legionella bacteria.
Some of the people who will benefit well from implementing routine testing through water quality testing kits include:
Business owner/office manager
Employers and office owners are expected to establish a clean, well-maintained and safe working space. Occupational health and safety regulations include ensuring workers are protected from diseases coming from a contaminated water system. Through routine water testing, businesses can determine if there are potential Legionella risks coming from their hot and cold water systems. Based on the test results, they can either establish the appropriate water treatment regimen, or strengthen their current water quality standards.
If you’re renting out a property you own, it is your legal responsibility to make sure that the space is free from any health hazard. Keeping the property’s hot and cold water constantly moving and at optimal temperatures will prevent the growth or spread of Legionella bacteria. Carrying out water quality assessment on a regular basis using a Legionella testing kit is likewise an important component of smart, responsible and legally compliant property management.
Dentist/dental clinic owner
Dental unit water lines have been known to be at risk of Legionella contamination. Persons in charge of managing dental clinics should make it a point to invest in dental unit water lines assessment and hot and cold water quality testing every six months or so. Extracting water samples using a simple testing kit and sending the samples to a lab for testing is an economical and effective method for routine water testing. As part of the clinic’s water hygiene control maintenance, it is also important to require and deliver Legionella prevention training for the staff.
Written by +Duncan Hollis, Aquacert