Many qualified operators choose to contract the task of running Legionella Risk Assessment to an external agency. However, the actual responsibility for compliance really rests with the individual owner/manager of the treated water facility, as only a suitable professional who is in tune with the latest standards of practice can show compliance with these obligations. Therefore, whether contracting a company to carry out the work or engaging an independent person to do the same, it’s essential to ensure the company/manner of choice will be able to demonstrate they are up to the task.
When carrying out a legionella risk assessment, the company or expert must first determine whether the main source of outbreaks has been identified and controlled. In most cases, if there is a history of an outbreak in the immediate vicinity of where the treatment plant is situated, the likelihood of an outbreak is likely to be high. In this case, the next step of treatment is to contact the previous management team and request their permission to perform a final risk assessment, followed by implementation of necessary control measures. With treatment not yet begun, the control measures should not begin until the legionella assessment has been concluded and the condition has either been cleared or significantly reduced.
An important part of the legionella risk assessment involves identifying where the potential sources of infestation might be. If hot water heating and hot water storage tanks are used in the treated water production facility, this information is essential to identify the areas at greatest risk. This can often be done by obtaining information from the previous management team, or the local council where the water systems are located. In addition to identifying possible sources of contamination, the specialist may wish to carry out routine maintenance checks on selected PEX heating and storage tanks, especially during the cold weather months. These checks should be performed in an effort to prevent any potential leaks which could result in serious damage. Such damage would need to be addressed through additional expenditure to repair.