Legionella bacteria presents a serious risk and significant responsibility for landlords and businesses because it can grow in almost any part of a hot or cold water system. In the right conditions, legionella can quickly take hold and lead to the spread of serious disease. Currently, with this wave of summer heat, the instances of legionella growth is on the increase.
Here are 4 big reasons why cold water storage tank cleaning and disinfection is essential, especially now:
Reason 1: Stagnation in cold water storage tanks
As the Health & Safety Executive state, legionella bacteria favours stagnant water. This makes your cold water storage tanks one of the more likely places where harmful bacteria may be found.
Stagnation can be caused by numerous factors, including:
- Under-utilising water so it stagnates for longer than necessary
- Using an excessively large tank
- Blockages or poor flow caused by issues elsewhere in your water system
Often, a cold water storage tank is the first place these problems will be identified. They can then be eliminated through a change to your system or the way you use your water.
However, storage tanks involve some level of stagnation by design. With that in mind, there is no substitution for effective cleaning and disinfection.
Reason 2: Removing food sources for legionella
In addition to stagnation, cold water tanks are home to several substances that can provide valuable food sources for legionella bacteria.
Over time, a dirty tank will become rife with rust, sediment, and silt. Worse, unchecked tanks can become contaminated with organic matter like leaves and even small animals like rodents if they are not properly cared for and contained.
These are all easy to miss if you do not regularly inspect, clean, and disinfect your tanks. All too often, cold water tanks are unseen and ignored, leaving people exposed to harmful disease.
Reason 3: Keep to a schedule of cold water tank cleaning
Above all else, inspection, cleaning and disinfection should take place to a predetermined schedule. HSG274, the Health & Safety Executive’s guide to the control of legionella bacteria, recommends inspecting your tank at least once a year, or more often if contamination has been found.
If cleaning is necessary, the entire tank needs to be emptied, which will involve shutting off the water supply. The right provider will help minimise the impact of this on your property or your business, avoiding disruption wherever possible.
The cleaning and disinfecting itself is a combination of physical and chemical processes. At Comfort Services, we use tailored formulations that achieve the optimal level of cleanliness, used as part of processes that meet the latest HSC ACoP standards.
Reason 4: Legal Compliance for cold water tank cleaning
Finally, meeting your legal obligations means reporting on your visual assessments, cleaning, and disinfecting as it happens. Documentation is essential to keep your reputation – and your water users – safe.
Your strategy for meeting your legal obligations to control the spread of legionella should include special precautions for your cold water storage tank. As any Legionella Risk Assessment will highlight, tanks present a high level of risk and keeping them clean is vital.
Learn more about our cold water storage tank cleaning and disinfection services.