WMSoc Questions and Answers

The advice offered in this section has been drawn up in the spirit of general guidance. If there is any doubt, in any case, expert advice must be sought.


Q1) Chemical Levels in Water Systems

HSG 274 part 2 and other guidance aims for 0.5 ppm minimum residual chlorine in drinking water and at sentinel points. Monochloramine can be used as a water disinfectant and sometimes there can be a mix of both in the water. Also chlorine dioxide dosing can be in use.  Therefore:

1/ Is it valid, measuring free chlorine when only dosing with Sodium Hypochlorite that this gives a trustworthy measurement of disinfectant, assuming a quality test kit is being used?

2/ Does measuring free chlorine alone give a measure of disinfectant effectiveness where it is only monochloramine or only chlorine dioxide that is being used as a disinfectant or does one have to measure these individual chemical levels at storage and sentinel points? 

3/ If it must be individual levels of monochloramine or chlorine dioxide respectively - what should the target range of levels be at storage and sentinel points?

4/ Where only monochloramine or only chlorine dioxide dosing is being used - would this show up on swimming pool type test kits that are used to measure free chlorine and could this lead to false information where free chlorine was not detected but indeed there was enough of these disinfectants there?

5/ What is the best way in the field of measuring free chlorine, monochloramine and chlorine dioxide in domestic water systems?

A1) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q2) Spray Chlorination

Can you give me any formal approval of the spray chlorination method on cold water storage tanks (not including down services)?  The guidance doesn’t talk about this method nor does it say that it isn’t allowed. 

A2) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q3) Disinfection of Water Supply Systems

Could you please confirm if there is a British Standard or ACOP covering the disinfection or sanitisation of water supply systems?

A3) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q4) Disinfecting New Hot Water Generators

When we disinfect new hot water generators do we have to disinfect the entire distribution network including the cold water services? There may be a situation where, when disinfecting, there is cross contamination through mixer taps.

A4) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q5) Mains Water

What is the procedure for chlorinating mains water systems?

A5) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q6) Neutralising Free Chlorine

When sodium thiosulphate is used to neutralise free chlorine in water will it also help destroy combined chlorine, i.e. chloramines?

A6) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q7) Disinfection of Down Services

When disinfecting the down-services of a building is it acceptable practice to neutralise the chlorine and leave it in non-potable water?

A7) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q8) Disinfection of Cold Water Storage Tanks

How do I disinfect a cold water tank in a hotel?

A8) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q9) Silver-Hydrogen Peroxide

I am looking for some advice on a new product.

A salesman has approached us from a company offering a product for the use in chlorinating cold water storage tanks. Apparently, this product negates the need for physically cleaning the tanks too; I cannot see how this is possible.

We are wary of any product like this that contains silver traces, as silver is basically a poison. At the minute we would only use Sodium Hypochlorite for the chlorination of cold water storage tanks.

Is this product recognised as an acceptable product to be used in the control of legionella under L8?

A9) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q10) Chlorine Dioxide in Schools

We have chlorine dioxide injection into water systems serving schools. The levels of treatment are maintained automatically via redox units. Once these dosing systems are installed, do the taps in the system still have to be turned on for a short duration every week?

In particular, during school holidays when the premises are hardly used, would it be a requirement to continue turning on the taps every week? Does dosing the water ensure that the water quality remains an acceptable quality?

If the water is being dosed continually with chlorine dioxide, is there still a risk of legionella growing in the system?

A10) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q11) Descaling of Shower Heads in Primary Schools

With regard to the cleaning of showerheads, if I was to replace the showerheads with brand new ones four times a year, am I complying with the regulations?

A11) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q12) Tanker Cleaning

Please could you offer some advice, I have a client who has asked what is the legal requirement, if any, for cleaning out water transport tankers – C6000gals.  My initial thought was to treat them as normal CWST and offer a chlorination once per year, with a 6 monthly inspection.  To clean I would offer fogging and limit the entry due to confined spaces etc.

A12) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q1) Towel Rails

I have a question regarding a residential block of some 75 flats, currently served by two massive calorifiers that are now well past their sell by date, it is our intention to replace these with direct fired hot water generators. The system currently includes towel rails that are connected to the open hot water system. We have been advised that the towel rail should not be connected to the water system and that this is in accordance with currently imposed regulations. I have been through the regulations and cannot find any reference to this claim. Can you help?

 

A1) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q2) Refurbishment of Accommodation Block

We are refurbishing a large accommodation block, which has been empty for a number of months.

The refurbishment will include the stripping out of plumbing, heating, showers, tanks etc.

What tests do you feel are required to check for legionella prior to work commencing (if any) and what precautions should be taken during the work.

A2) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q1) Cooling Tower Systems

Is there a concern using bromine with acidic scale control formulations?

A1) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q2) Cooling Tower Systems Chemical Storage

Is there a concern if drums of bromine tablets are left open?

A2) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q3) Cooling Tower Systems Chemical Storage

Is it necessary to place chemical drums and dosing tanks in bunds?

A3) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q4) Cooling Tower Systems

Is there a concern using bromine with non-oxidising biocides?

A4) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q5) Safety Data Sheets

How important is it to display safety data sheets in locations where chemicals are stored or used?

A5) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q6) Cooling Tower Systems Supporting Documentation

Is it necessary to place a copy of all support documents such as the schematic diagram, safety data sheets, cooling tower registration form in a cooling tower log book?

A6) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q7) Antimicrobial Fill Packs

Are there any concerns about the use of Antimicrobial Fill Pack for Cooling Towers?

A7) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q8) Idle Cooling Towers

If a cooling tower or evaporative condenser is standing idle, how often should it be put into operation?

A8) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q9) Cooling Towers

I am H&S consultant to a company who operate a small cooling tower installed in 1987. Passage of time and changes of staff mean that the current maintenance regime is something that has been passed down by word of mouth over the years and I am concerned that the practices followed may be inadequate particularly in respect to control of legionella.

I have been unable to trace successors to the manufacturers to get advice from them. Can you make suggestions as to whom I should contact to get information that will help us to confirm that current practices are adequate or, if not, to set up appropriate treatments and records?

A9) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q10) Removal and Decommissioning of Cooling Towers

Is there a procedure for the removal and decommissioning of cooling towers? Are there any legal aspects we need to be aware of?

A10) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q11) Cooling Systems and the Powers of EHOs.

The Environmental Health Officer (EHO) for my area of London has requested daily visits to monitor a cooling tower on a site we maintain. Can you advise on recommendations with regard to monitoring and testing intervals?

A11) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q12) Biocides In Cooling Systems: Chlorine Activated Bromine Micro-Organism Control Mechanism

I have a client in the City of London where we are running a chlorine activated bromine micro-organism control mechanism.

The system has on line filtration, redox and conductivity control. Generally culture slide results are less than 1x103 and 1x104cfu/ml, consecutive months testing for legionella has not detected any contamination. Should I be dosing a secondary biocide to act as a surfactant? According to the manufacturer's handbook, chlorine activated bromine programmes will penetrate bio film. By not dosing a secondary biocide would I be leaving myself open to criticism?

We are also dosing a product for corrosion/scale control which has dispersant properties.

A12) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q13) Wet Scrubbers

Do you have any guidance on the control of Legionella in wet fume scrubbers used for the removal of odours?

A13) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q1) Healthcare Calorifiers

Can you confirm that hot water storage vessels (calorifiers) should remain on at all times in healthcare premises? 

A1) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q1) Tanked Water Testing Frequency

Can WMSoc supply a set of guidelines that clearly outline the frequency required when having analysis conducted on drinking water supplied from a tank?

A1) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q2) Multi-Occupancy Buildings with Individual Hot Water

In a high-rise block of flats with individual hot water systems in each flat, how many hot water taps should be checked and how often?

A2) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q3) Dead-Legs

Would an unused washbasin or shower in a vacant room be a dead leg?

A3) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q4) Scalding

At what temperature would water scald? The personnel coming into contact with the water are people of working age.

A4) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q5) Care Home Hot Water Systems

A Care Home has been advised to keep water temperature down to 43-44°C at the hot taps, to prevent scalding. The owner is aware that water must be stored at 60°C and recirculated at 55°C to minimise potential problems with Legionella in the pipework between any temperature control valve and the outlet(s). How does he reconcile the apparent differences in demands?

A5) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q6) Hot Water Temperatures in Care Homes

What hot water temperatures do I need achieve in a Care Home I am responsible for?

A6) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q7) Direct Mains Supply

Can WMSoc supply a set of guidelines that clearly outline the tests required when having mains drinking water analysis conducted on our premises?

A7) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q8) Removal of Cold Water Tanks

Over the last few years we have been taking out most of the cold storage tanks from our schools where reasonably practicable. We are now wondering whether the ClO2 (which was introduced as an interim measure) should continue to be used in those schools where the tanks have been removed.

A8) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q9) Bottled Drinking Water

Can WMSoc supply a set of guidelines that clearly outline the tests required when having Bottled drinking water analysis conducted on our premises? 

A9) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q10) Dead-Legs

The water supply to feed anyexpansion tanks and closed system pressurisation units are infrequently used. What advice could you give us on the way to approach this when carrying out a Legionella Risk Assessment? Do we treat the supply to these tanks as dead legs?

A10) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q11) Calorifiers

Why is it, that the hot water secondary water always returns to the centre of the calorifier and not to the base. This would eliminate the use of de-stratification pumps.

A11) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q12) Hot and Blended Water System Temperatures

Can you tell me the required Hot Water and Blended Water Temperatures in building systems?

A12) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q13) Calorifiers and Water Temperatures

Please could you help? I have a client who operates a hot water system, which is pumped and reaches 50C on the calorifier return during the week. At weekends the system heating is turned off, but water can still be drawn to outlets if there are workers on site, but these will be few in comparison to the usual workforce.

I have been asked whether this is acceptable and find it hard to judge in view of the following: -

Previous HSE guidance (L8 2000, paragraph 154) indicated that periods of less than 1 week may be acceptable, however that was in the context of a shutdown not a weekend and there is nothing equivalent in HSG274 part 2.

A13) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q14) Calorifiers

Please could you comment on the following?

I have a client who has several older style calorifiers, which have a pumped ring main returning to the middle of the calorifiers.

Would it be acceptable to re-pipe the return water into the cold water down service feed provided non-return valves are fitted? Or should I insist that shunt pumps be fitted?

A14) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q15) Electric Water Heaters

We have a problem in so much that when taking temperatures of small electric water heaters, the delivery temperature is often 46 - 49C, possibly due to a recent use and insufficient time to allow the water to heat up again.

As there is no adjustment on these, how much time should be left from its last use which could have emptied it until a temperature is taken? How much under the 50C is acceptable?

A15) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q16) 'Fortic' and Other Combination Water Heaters

I have recently carried out a risk assessment and compiled a scheme to minimise the risk from legionella, for a housing association. The property is sheltered accommodation for the elderly where the occupants have their own flat/bedsit.

Hot water is provided in each flat/bedsit by individual Fortic tanks.

As the temperature in the cold section in each of these tanks is around 36C, usage could be small and stratification in the hot water part of the system could occur, I have identified this as a high risk of legionella proliferation.

The landlord has asked whether these tanks could be excluded in the assessment as they are residential flats and they do not consider themselves responsible for the necessary monitoring and treatment considering the risk identified?

A16) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q17) 'Fortic' and Other Combination Water Heaters

Would you treat the cisterns on top of "fortic" style heaters and flatbacks the same as main cold roof tanks /cisterns, regarding legionella management?

Assuming that the heater is used on a regular basis and the hot water temperature is correct would they need to be checked for cold water temp yearly (summer) etc. Invariably there is a heat transfer from hot to cold sections and correct temps in the cold tank are difficult to achieve. Is this negated by the pasteurising effect of the heating process?

A17) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q18) Calorifier Vents

Could you tell me where it is written that calorifier open vents must be direct to drain via a tundish?

There is a diagram in ACoP L8 implying this but the Water Regs and the Fittings & Materials Directory have plenty showing the vent going back to the cold-water storage tank.

A18) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q19) Temporary Water Supply

Can WMSoc supply a set of guidelines that clearly outline the requirements when having a temporary water supply of drinking water?

A19) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q20) Tanked Water Supply Microbiological Testing

Can WMSoc supply a set of guidelines that clearly outline the tests required when having analysis conducted on drinking water supplied from a tank?

A20) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q21) Water Tanks and Monitoring

What are the requirements for the monitoring of water storage (header) tanks? Where do they come from?

A21) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q22) Tank Cleanliness and Stored Water

I have recently chlorinated a development of a block of brand new apartments, which have boosted water and an 8000ltr break tank.

The developer has called me and explained that the water tank and booster system that has been recently chlorinated will not be put into full use until 3/4 weeks time.

I have explained the tank requires a regeneration of water every 24hrs.

1. While this tank is out of use would it have to be drained down?

2. Would it have to be re-chlorinated?

3. Can it stay filled but with a dose of chlorine added?

4. Can it stay filled and then put into operation in 3/4 weeks time?

A22) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q23) Cold Water Tanks, Storage and L8

We are currently running mains fed cold water tanks serving potable water. If temperatures are not maintained to current guidance as outlined in HSG274 Part 2 what preventative measures do we take? If we are supplying non potable water from a storage tank that is mains fed what maximum temperatures are permissible? If they are not maintained what measure do we take?

A23) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q24) Multi-Occupancy Buildings Centralised Hot Water

In a high-rise block of flats with a centralised hot water system, how many hot water taps should be checked and how often? Gaining access to private dwellings is proving difficult, due to being seen as intrusion.

A24) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q25) Private Water Supplies

Can WMSoc please supply a set of guidelines that clearly outline the tests required when having private water supply drinking water analysis conducted on our premises? 

A25) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q26) Calorifier Overflowing

I have attended a site where the overflow from the calorifiers are constantly overflowing. The calorifiers used to be direct fired water heaters from gas but have been converted to act as provision for secondary hot water. The opinion of the site is that this problem has been occurring since this change. Would this sound plausible?

A26) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q27) Instantaneous Hot Water Temperatures

Can you tell me, where water is heated instantaneously like from a combination boiler or a point of use (POU) water heater, is it acceptable to have lower hot water temperatures at the outlet? If so what is the lowest temperature acceptable?

A27) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q1) Care Homes and Dip Slides

Is water testing for legionella or with dipslides necessary or desirable in a care home of the elderly?

A1) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q2) TVC levels

A UKAS accredited laboratory has informed me that there are no definitive limits for TVC levels. However, previous guidance figures of 100 @ 22°C & 20 @ 37°C for ‘water in bottles or containers’ are sometimes offered as a guide. Is this correct? What actions would you recommend be undertaken, on the hot and cold water systems and associated storage vessels, if the test results show levels that exceed the above (e.g. 2400 at 22°C & 3840 at 37°C)?

A2) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q3) Legionella Sampling and Routine Monitoring

I am at present carrying out an audit on various procedures. Many of the procedures I had created over time, but the one relating to the taking of a legionella sample was derived from previous material and I do not know of its original source. I was wondering whether you know of any procedures relating to the optimum method of taking an LP sample. The main contentious area of our current procedure is the timing of the taking of the sample from the water flow. Our procedure refers to running the water flow for 2 mins.

A3) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q4) Legionella Levels

What is the significance of finding Legionella in my domestic water system? I am told the levels detected are considered low.

A4) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q5) Legionella and Risk in Disused Buildings

What is the significance of the risk from Legionella in disused, unoccupied or partially occupied buildings?

A5) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q6) Legionella Monitoring

I currently have a wide cross section of commercial, industrial and local authority clients who contract us to manage their legionella control programmes. We carry out risk assessments, monitor temperatures and follow L8 guidelines as far as possible in managing their control programmes.

We also test for Legionella on a regular basis and would like to firstly reassure our clients that on domestic hot and cold water services a certain percentage of results come back positive. Our policy is to investigate each one to identify the reason behind the result. It would also be a very useful control statistic for ourselves to allow us to assess the effectiveness of our control measures compared to an industry average.

Do you have any figures on the average positive L.pneumophila sero group 1 (or Legionella species in general) as a percentage of samples submitted to laboratories in the UK?

A6) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q1) Mobile Hot Water Hand Wash Stations

One of our customers has purchased several mobile hot water hand wash stations 20Litre. We are currently risk assessing the customers site and our main concern is that the item stores water and distributes it at 42 deg C. Could you provide some thoughts on how to best manage it?

A1) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q2) COVID-19 Reopening of Water Systems

What do you suggest small businesses should do to ensure water is safe before reopening their premises?

A2) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q3) ESGLI Guidance for Water Systems

What guidance is available for building water systems with regards to COVID-19?

A3) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q1) Multi-Occupancy Private Residential Flats with Communal Cold Water Tanks

I am the chairman of the Management Committee of a block of privately owned residential flats. The building is made up of three side-by-side blocks, seven stories high. On the roof we have six tank rooms containing water tanks that hold over 2000 litres each, fed from the mains supply. Our Managing Agent has told me that because we are the representatives of the Owner and we are supplying water to each of the 55 flats within the blocks, legislation demands that we have a Legionella risk assessment programme. Mains water is also fed directly to each flat.

We have had a survey and risk analysis done, but the company who carried it out are suggesting that we should include temperature checks on all water taps within all the flats every six months. We believe that this far exceeds our responsibility and is largely motivated by commercial factors.

I would greatly appreciate some guidance on what we are obliged to do, bearing in mind that we are only responsible for the supply of cold water to residents.

A1) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q2) Council/Housing Associations & Legionella Risk Assessment

Should all properties under the control of Council Housing Associations (2500 domestic dwellings in one case) have a legionella risk assessment carried out?

Also what monitoring regime should be initiated (if any) for the water systems within these properties?

There is a mixture of multi occupancy flats with communal storage tanks and calorifiers, individual houses with their own tanks and calorifiers, and flats/houses with mains fed cold water services.

A2) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q3) Risk Assessment of Outside Taps etc.

We have had our main buildings risk assessed for legionella but I am not sure if such items as outside taps, standpipes in our parks and gardens, isolated sinks in stores which have mains fed hot water heater, etc need to be risk assessed.

A3) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q4) Risk Assessment

Is there a set format for conducting a Risk Assessment annual review/update as applied to buildings, i.e. what procedure is required to conform with ACOP L8 (Fourth edition) Published 2013 as far as documentation is required?

Are we required to take water temperatures and bacteria tests etc?

We understand the requirement to report on changes to the building and system, but how far do we go with the already assessed systems without creating a completely new risk assessment?

A4) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q5) Legionella Risk

At what levels does legionella become a problem to human health?

A5) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q6) Audits

How often should audits be carried out?

The LCA state that a review should be undertaken at least annually, and in L8 there is no reference to review frequency (apart from risk assessment frequency). Is there any necessity or requirement to audit/review on a set frequency or is it annually unless there is a reason to review more frequently if higher risk or problems found?

A6) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q7) Negligible Risk

How can we decide what level of risk is negligible; this is the detail I am struggling hard to ascertain?

Being self-employed surveyor looking at my PI cover has made me question things in great detail but in this case the possibility of infection is my prime motive. Would a consultant advise upon level of risk for occasionally used sinks etc. and if so, how would he do it?

A7) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q8) The Written Scheme

Please can you advise of whom, in your opinion, should write the written scheme?

A8) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q1) The Responsible Person

When looking to draw up a management structure recently the following question arose. Where a Council has delegated the management of its Housing stock to an ALMO Organisation, who becomes the responsible person the Council or the Almo (outsourced facilities management company), and if it is the Council is there a need for a named individual to take ultimate responsibility?

A1) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q2) Using Contractors as the Responsible Person

For the client/employer/controller of workplace premises to use a contractor as the ‘Responsible Person’ under L8, what authority and power would the client have to allocate to the contractor in order they can actually fulfil their duties?

A2) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q3) Retirement Development

The interpretation and application of the ACOP L8 in retired development and private dwellings is becoming something of a trial to all concerned and I would appreciate clear guidelines.

We live in a retirement development of 38 flats. Each living is independent of the other. Each flat with its own tank and water supply, and each heating their water supply as required; what are the guidelines for a monitoring regime for the water systems within these properties?

A3) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q4) Regulations and Guidance

What are the relevant Regulations and Guidance for Residential Care Homes?

A4) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q5) Labelling of Pipework

Please can you provide details-regulations on the correct labelling of pipes  (hot water, cold water, storage tanks, non-drinking water and drinking water etc.) on the following premises?

  1. Nursing homes
  2. Residential homes
  3. Care homes
  4. Sports facilities
  5. Offices
  6. Hotels

A5) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q6) Responsibilities

Could you please let me know who is responsible for the legionella testing and health & safety in a building, which consists of individual flats and common areas? (The flats are supplied from a common main, but each flat pays rent that includes the water supply. They also pay their own electricity. This includes water heating).

A6) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q7) The Irish L8

Is there an equivalent to L8 in use in Ireland?

A7) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

Q8) Pipework Labelling

Please can you provide details-regulations on the correct labelling of pipework

e.g.  for Hot water, cold water, storage tanks, non-drinking water and drinking water etc.

A8) Answers compiled from the experience of the WMSoc technical committee are available to Water Management Society members. To become a member and receive all the benefits of the Water Management Society please click here.

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