Legionella safety standard

The safety of our customers, colleagues and contractors is at the heart of all we do. We are committed to ensuring that arrangements are in place to monitor, inspect and maintain water systems in common areas and customers’ homes. We ensure services are delivered consistently to this standard, while meeting all regulation as an absolute minimum and best practice where appropriate.

This is our standard:

1.    We have one person, our Head of Property Compliance (delegated The Responsible Person), who has overall responsibility for ensuring that all water systems are safe. Our ‘Responsible Person’ reviews our policies and procedures annually to ensure that they are up to date.

2.    We only use the services of specialist legionella contractors who are members of the Legionella Control Association (LCA).

3.    We categorise and risk rate our properties as follows (we have no high risk properties or systems as these tend to be major commercial installations such as cooling towers):

  • Category 1 (Medium Risk): Communal shared water systems in Extra Care, sheltered and supported housing with vulnerable customers.
  • Category 2 (Medium Risk): Flats supplied by communal shared water systems. These are Houses in Multiple Occupation and office buildings.– classified due to the complexity of the water systems and the number of people potentially at risk from a single system.
  • Category 3 (Low Risk): General Needs housing, bungalows and flats with self-contained systems in each property – classified due to the low number of people potentially at risk from each system, and the lower susceptibility of those people present.


4.    Scheme risk assessments, periodic monitoring and inspections on Category 1 and 2 schemes are carried out at the following frequency levels by specialist contractors.
 

Category 1 and 2 properties only (common areas)

Main task

Sub task

Specialist contractor

Frequency

Scheme risk assessments

 

Contractor

Every two years

Flushing of infrequently used outlets

 

LiveWest

Weekly

Temperature monitoring

hot water

Sentinel taps (this is the first and last taps on the system)

LiveWest

Monthly

Input to thermostatic mixing valves

LiveWest

Monthly

To and from calorifiers

Contractor

Monthly

Representative number of cold outlets

Contractor

Monthly

Temperature monitoring

cold water

Sentinel taps

Contractor

Monthly

Incoming cold water

Contractor

Six monthly

Tank water

remote from ball valve

Contractor

Six monthly

Representative taps

Contractor

Annually

15.    Actions arising from the risk assessment/periodic maintenance visit will be prioritised as follows:

  • High Risk Action - Serious risk present – to be completed within a week. Where this is not possible, a regular disinfection and temperature monitoring regime must be adopted until the period of rectification.
  • Medium Risk Action - Slight risk under normal operating conditions – complete within six months.
  • Low Risk Action - Slight risk under exceptional operating conditions – complete within twelve months.
  • No Risk - No action required.

6.    For risk assessments on our low risk properties, we have a 10 year rolling programme based on risk, supplemented by risk assessments as a matter of course on all voids.

7.    We undertake a legionella risk assessment on all properties when tenancies change and before they are re-let to any new customers.

8.    We provide practical advice to customers about how they can prevent legionella occurring in their homes. Full details are also available on our website.

9.    Incidents are dealt with in line with our emergency repair process and we have in place a post incident review process.

10.    We compile a list of all water systems that need to be assessed and reviewed for legionella.

11.    We keep records of all equipment and periodic monitoring.

12.    We monitor the performance of our contractors monthly to ensure that inspection visits and repairs are carried out on time and to a high standard.