Legionella Risk Assessments

Legionella bacteria can cause harmful health conditions including the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease.

Our Legionella Risk Assessments are fully comprehensive assessments which provide a complete easy to understand breakdown. All our assessments come with full schematics.

The assessment highlights the risk of exposure and potential dangers and the steps that should be taken to reduce levels of bacteria where required. If there are specific requirements, a bespoke solution can be arranged.

Legionella bacteria is preventable as it can be kept under control by taking suitable precautions which is why there are penalties for businesses that do not take the required steps.

Call us for a chat

What is Legionnaires’ disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is a severe pneumonia caused by the inhalation of water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Legionella bacteria are found naturally in freshwater environments, such as lakes, rivers, and ponds, and can also colonize artificial water systems, including cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot water tanks, and plumbing systems.

When these systems are not properly maintained, Legionella bacteria can multiply and spread through the water droplets, creating a risk of infection. Legionnaires’ disease is spread through the inhalation of contaminated water droplets, not through person-to-person contact. Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease typically develop within 2 to 10 days of exposure and can include fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, and cough.

In severe cases, Legionnaires’ disease can lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, and even death. Treatment for Legionnaires’ disease typically involves antibiotics and supportive care. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for improving outcomes. Prevention of Legionnaires’ disease involves proper maintenance of water systems to prevent the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria. This includes regular cleaning and disinfection of water systems, maintaining proper water temperatures, and implementing water management programs to minimize the risk of contamination.

You can catch Legionnaires disease from

Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, is caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. This disease is not contagious, meaning it cannot be spread from person to person. Instead, it is contracted through inhalation of water droplets or aerosols that contain the bacteria. These aerosols can be generated from various sources, including but not limited to, air conditioning systems, hot tubs, cooling towers, decorative fountains, and even showerheads.

The bacteria thrive in warm, stagnant water, which is why they are often found in man-made water systems. When these systems are not properly maintained, the bacteria can multiply and contaminate the water, posing a risk to those who come into contact with it.

The risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease is higher for certain groups of people. These include the elderly, smokers, those with chronic lung disease, and individuals with weakened immune systems. However, anyone can contract the disease if exposed to a high enough concentration of the bacteria.

Preventing Legionnaires’ disease involves maintaining and regularly cleaning water systems to prevent the growth and spread of the bacteria. This includes regular testing of water systems, proper maintenance of cooling towers and air conditioning systems, and ensuring that hot tubs and decorative fountains are properly cleaned and disinfected.

In conclusion, Legionnaires’ disease is a severe form of pneumonia that is caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. It is not contagious, but can be contracted through inhalation of water droplets or aerosols that contain the bacteria. The risk of contracting the disease is higher for certain groups of people, and prevention involves maintaining and regularly cleaning water systems to prevent the growth and spread of the bacteria.

You cannot catch Legionella disease from

Legionella, the bacterium responsible for Legionnaires’ disease, is a complex and often misunderstood pathogen. It is crucial to understand the transmission dynamics of this disease to prevent its spread and protect public health. While it is true that Legionella can be found in various environments, including water systems, soil, and even compost, it is essential to recognize that not all exposure to Legionella results in the development of Legionnaires’ disease.

You cannot catch Legionella disease from simply being in the presence of the bacterium. Legionella is not transmitted through person-to-person contact, nor does it spread through the air like a common cold or flu virus. Instead, the primary mode of transmission for Legionella is through the inhalation of contaminated aerosols or droplets containing the bacteria. These aerosols can be generated by various sources, such as cooling towers, hot tubs, decorative fountains, and even showerheads.

To further clarify, Legionella is not contracted through drinking water, even if the water source is contaminated. The bacteria are typically killed by the stomach’s acidic environment when ingested, making it highly unlikely for someone to develop Legionnaires’ disease from consuming contaminated water. However, it is still essential to maintain proper water treatment and sanitation practices to prevent the growth and spread of Legionella in water systems.

Additionally, Legionella is not transmitted through skin contact with contaminated water or surfaces. While the bacteria can survive in moist environments, it does not penetrate the skin or cause infection through direct contact. Therefore, activities such as swimming in a pool or lake, or washing your hands, do not pose a risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

In conclusion, while Legionella is a potentially dangerous bacterium that can cause severe illness, it is essential to understand the specific conditions under which it can be transmitted. Legionnaires’ disease is not contracted through casual contact, drinking water, or skin contact with contaminated surfaces. Instead, the primary mode of transmission is through the inhalation of contaminated aerosols or droplets. By recognizing these facts, we can better protect ourselves and others from the risks associated with Legionella exposure.

The Internal factors that can help Legionella bacteria grow?

Things that can happen on the inside of your building can be the start of a Legionella outbreak. Here is a list of the most commons reasons…

  • pH fluctuations
  • Inadequate levels of disinfectant
  • Scale and sediment
  • Water pressure changes
  • Stagnation
  • Biofilm

The external factors can help Legionella bacteria grow?

Things that can happen on the outside of your building. Here is a list of the most commons reasons…

  • Changes in municipal water quality
  • Construction
  • Water main breaks

What are the symptoms of Legionella disease?

Legionella disease, caused by the Legionella bacteria, can manifest with a wide range of symptoms. The most common form, known as Pontiac fever, is a milder illness that resembles the flu. It typically presents with fever, chills, muscle aches, and headache, but resolves within a few days without treatment. In contrast, Legionnaires’ disease is a more severe form that can lead to pneumonia and other complications.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include high fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can lead to respiratory failure, organ damage, and even death. The incubation period for Legionella disease is typically 2-10 days, but can range from 1-14 days. It is important to seek medical attention promptly if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you have recently been exposed to a potential source of Legionella bacteria, such as contaminated water systems or cooling towers. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve outcomes and reduce the risk of complications.

Landlord and Business owners obligation on Legionella risk assessment

Legionella Risk Assessments are required to be undertaken by business owners, hospitals & healthcare facilities, property managers and landlords in the United Kingdom to control the risk of legionella bacteria.

Unquestionably, from the point of inception, the Assessment Report should be considered a living document with an expiration date. We would advise all businesses to review their assessments every two years as a minimum requirement to highlight their risk of exposure.

However, it is important to note that the frequency should increase if changes are made to the water systems or there is a bacterial outbreak.

The required health and safety legislation in the United Kingdom covers this is as follows;

The Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).

Health & Safety Executive: Approved Code of Practice ACOP L8.

Health & Safety Executive: HSG274: Technical guidance Parts 1, 2 & 3.

Department of Health and Social Care: Health Technical Memorandum HTM 04-01: Safe Water in Healthcare Premises.

Department of Health and Social Care: Health Technical Memorandum HTM 01-05: Decontamination in Primary Care Dental Practices.

Legionella risk assessment for hospitals and healthcare organisations in the UK

Puretech Water Systems (Uk) Ltd provide water hygiene and treatment services to numerous care homes and hospitals across the United Kingdom. Hospitals and healthcare centres look after people who are at greater risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease.

The elderly and venerable including those with ongoing complex health conditions are unfortunately more likely to develop the disease if they are exposed to higher levels of Legionella bacteria.

It is a known fact that buildings with water tanks that have a complex hot and cold water systems which house the elderly or sick such as hospitals and care homes are also more likely to carry greater risks with having disused piping and equipment, storage tanks, taps and showers which can make it more difficult to control legionella bacteria.

Additionally, it has been scientifically proven that the demographic group of the over 50’s account for over 80% of all cases of people who are affected by Legionella bacteria. Therefore, the government have outlined an approved code of practice which means that a risk assessment is legally required to highlight all potential danger areas and list steps for combating them and minimising the risk levels.

Legionella risk assessment: Our Guidance

Generally, the larger the building the more complex the water system and the higher the risk of exposure. Consequently, it is important to understand that Legionella bacteria can cause a type of pneumonia to occur called Legionnaires disease. Significantly, the disease is known to be fatal. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that the associated checks and measures take place to minimise the risk of exposure. Legionella Risk Assessments highlight the potential risks and detail the steps that need to be taken to reduce the levels and to control legionella bacteria. The good news is that it  is preventable so long as the appropriate precautions are taken you can control the dangers of exposure.

Undoubtedly, larger sites with more complex hot and cold water systems (particularly sites with cooling towers) require routine testing. This testing should be carried out at least every three months. Regular testing serves as a litmus test that helps to establish whether preventative measures are working. In hospitals and healthcare facilities there are greater risks that come from disused pipe work (dead legs), storage tanks, point of use taps and showers and equipment.

How often should a risk assessment be carried out?

The risk assessment is legally required and should be considered a living document and used to control measures for the risk management process. Therefore, we recommend to follow the safety at work act all businesses review their assessments at least every 24 months.

The frequency should be increased if there are changes to key staff, if changes are made to the water systems, if the water treatment programme fails, or if increased levels of bacteria are found.

The procedure for Legionella risk assessments

In the first place, we will check and analyse any existing material or schematics. In the final analysis, risks are classified by priority rating in the Risk Assessment we prepare. Thereupon, this rating system can be used to make executive decisions about what actions to take and how it is best for you to prioritise those actions. The Legionella Risk Assessment is the first steps to take to ensure that the building in question is made safe. Actions need to be carried out. This is something that Puretech Water Systems (UK) Ltd are able to assist with as we offer remedial works, pipe work alterations and tank cleaning and chlorination.

Risk Assessment conclusion and consultation

Puretech Water Systems (UK) Ltd are able to provide comprehensive Legionella Risk Assessments for small, medium and large facilities. As a company, we also have the ability to action engineered alterations and changes to systems should the assessment indicate that there is a requirement for action to be taken.

Contact us today to discover how Legionella Control can help you meet all your health and safety requirements. Put your mind at rest and making sure your premises and water systems are safe from the threat of legionella. Legionella test today and learn the control of legionella bacteria.

Call us today on 01622 871 877 to request a no obligation consultation with one of our experts.

Puretech's Legionella risk assessment training courses

If you wish to control the risk and carry out a legionella risk assessment yourself within your organisation, but don’t feel you have the necessary skills or competencies in your current work activity, you should consider undertaking legionella risk assessment training.

The Puretech Water Systems (UK) Ltd Legionella Awareness Training Courses are recommended training for the water responsible person on site. The course is available to other staff members as well. It is especially important that all staff are trained where on site temperature testing takes place.

Above all, these courses have a carefully designed syllabus specifically tailored to different working environments. The courses are intended for all members of staff on your site who are involved in water safety. Managers and Water Responsible personnel alike. The courses are hands on and are conducted and delivered on site. This is so working examples can be demonstrated and relevant questions can be asked by employees.

Our foundation course is applicable to the majority of businesses. We do offer advanced courses and bespoke courses for businesses with particular requirements. Sites which have Cooling Towers for example, require more specialised and specific training.

To Learn more about Legionella Control training or to book onto one of our training courses please look at our training course page by clicking the button below or alternatively you can contact a member of our staff on 01622 871877 who will be happy to answer any of your questions:

Benefits of our Legionella Risk Assessments

  • Ensures Compliance With UK Legislation & Law.
  • Provides Guidance Document & Advice For The Water Responsible Person On Site.
  • Helps To Establish Solutions & Suggests Remedial Works.
  • Bespoke Legionella Assessments Based On Buildings Water System Requirements.
Reverse Osmosis Water