Water Hygiene Consultancy
On occasion, site and facilities managers may decide to implement different The growth of bacteria in water systems is a common cause of potentially-fatal Legionnaires’ disease. Recent outbreaks of Legionella have highlighted the need for stringent water hygiene risk mana... More strategies or install new equipment to manage or monitor the Legionella control activities on site. This situation occurs more frequently, as new technologies are brought to market which can improve water hygiene control. Typically, new strategies are also designed to ensure greater environmental compliance with regard to energy and water consumption and minimising any potential waste streams off-site.
Some common examples of such strategies and new treatment methods which have gained popularity over recent years include:
- rainwater harvesting;
- greywater recycling;
- UV treatment of domestic water systems;
- solar heating of domestic hot water;
- dry chemical addition for cooling towers; and
- sonification treatment of cooling tower water.
At the initial design and implementation stages it is key that a thorough costings and feasibility study is carried out, so that all the possible options are considered and all the pros and cons of each option are weighed up to ensure that the right decision is made.
Typically, alternative quotes are sought from a number of different suppliers and these are then reviewed and given due merit based on price and level of service offered.
In our experience, employing a third-party, independent consultant at the initial design stages, through to the final stages of installation and implementation, saves not only time, money and inconvenience in the long-run, but also ensures that all alternatives are considered from the outset, with the final decision being the most cost-effective and viable for site.
What are the benefits?
Employing a third-party consultancy, such as the S2 Partnership, when changes are required to the water hygiene/Legionella control programme on-site can have the following benefits:
- making the wrong decision can be very costly in the long-run and is often only discovered with the aid of hindsight when it is too late. Our consultants have a wealth of knowledge and experience of both water treatment and water hygiene control programs and their independence and impartiality will help you make the right decision and avoid choosing unsuitable and costly options; and
- the whole process of implementing new strategies can be very time consuming and take away from any site/facilities manager’s core duties and activities. As independent, third-party consultants, we can shoulder much of the burden, ensuring that the whole process, from initial planning and design, through to implementation, installation and testing of any new strategy is as quick and problem free as possible.
How can the S2 Partnership help?
The S2 Partnership can provide comprehensive consultancy services from initial design stages through to the final stages of installation and implementation of any new strategy which involves the following:
- initial desktop exercise at the design stage to ensure that all possible viable options are considered. Detailed analysis of the pros and cons of each option will be outlined;
- costing/feasibility studies may be carried out for each potential option considered. Lifetime costings can be presented, outlining not only initial capital expenditure, but also ongoing costs such as routine maintenance, energy requirements, waste disposal costs, etc.;
- sourcing and vetting of suitable contractors, putting together tender proposals and reviewing any potential tender submissions;
- overseeing the installation of any new technologies and monitoring contractors during the installation/handover period;
- ongoing and additional monitoring of any new strategy; and
- updating policies, procedures, method statements and risk assessments to reflect all relevant changes.
S2 Partnership provides a comprehensive service to audit and manage the level of Legionella compliance/control on any site, which involves the following:
- site survey of all relevant assets and plant to include a detailed condition survey outlining all faults and listing all necessary remedial actions required to ensure the water services on-site comply with the requirements of not only ACOP L8, but also other guidance documents and regulations, such as the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999;
- audit of all Legionella control activities on-site, including all tasks carried out by sub-contractors and to include an assessment of the competency of all people involved in the management and control of Legionella bacteria;
- provision of all documentation relevant to Legionella control, including policies and procedures method statements, emergency procedures, log books, log sheets and risk assessments;
- designing and delivering specific training programmes aimed at ensuring competency of on-site maintenance staff, managers and Responsible Persons/Duty Holders; and
- carrying out sampling to prove the effectiveness of control regimes.
As part of your obligations to comply with current legislation and codes of practice governing the control and management of legionella (COSHH, RIDDOR, HSWA, MHSWA, Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations, ACOP L8). The following is required from clients for water systems that they manage:
- The need to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment
- The need to prepare a scheme for preventing or controlling the risk
- The need to implement, manage and monitor precautions
- The need to keep records of the precautions
- The need to appoint a person to managerial responsibility
It is the client’s responsibility to maintain all records pertinent to the control of legionella on site and to determine where these records will be kept. Records are to be maintained for a period of five years.
S2 Partnership assists in the production of a written scheme, but this will also require input from the client and their appointed M+E contractors and water treatment contractors. The elements of the written scheme as outlined below are assessed and audited at the time of the risk assessment and where necessary actions raised in the risk assessment to indicate where improvements need to be made to achieve compliance. ACOP L8/HSG 274 outline a suitable and sufficient written scheme as having:
a) an up-to-date plan showing the layout of the plant or water system, including parts temporarily out of use (a schematic diagram is sufficient);
b) a description of the correct and safe operation of the system;
c) the precautions to take;
d) checks to carry out to ensure the written scheme is effective and the frequency of such checks;
e) the remedial action to take if the written scheme is shown to be not effective.
The written scheme should give details on how to use and carry out the various control measures and water treatment regimes, including:
a) the physical treatment programme – e.g. using temperature control for hot and cold water systems;
b) the chemical treatment programme, including a description of the manufacturer’s data on effectiveness, the concentrations and contact time required;
c) health and safety information for storage, handling, use and disposal of chemicals;
d) system control parameters (together with allowable tolerances); physical, chemical and biological parameters, together with measurement methods and sampling locations, test frequencies and procedures for maintaining consistency;
e) remedial measures to take in case the control limits are exceeded, including lines of communication;
f) cleaning and disinfection procedures;
g) emergency procedures.
The written scheme should also describe the correct operation of the water system plant, including:
a) commissioning and recommissioning procedures;
b) shutdown procedures;
c) checks of warning systems and diagnostic systems in case of system malfunctions;
d) maintenance requirements and frequencies;
e) operating cycles – including when the system plant is in use or idle.
Our team of dedicated and professionally trained staff ensure the ability to deliver a comprehensive and effective water management service. The S2 Partnership is a member of the Legionella Control Association, delivering key services including risk assessments, consultancy, training and analytical services.
For clients subscribing to RiskWise, reports (including any logsheets and actions) are uploaded directly to RiskWise, prompting an email notification to the site representative of the new report being available.
For clients without RiskWise, reports are issued directly by email to the client representative with the option of hard copies being posted on request.
Please contact us for more information.