Identify and assess sources of risk

To identify the risks in your water system a competent person who understands your water systems and any associated equipment, should establish any possible exposure to Legionella risks, as part of a risk assessment.

The person(s) responsible for managing risks, need to understand your water systems, the equipment associated with the system such as pumps, heat exchangers, showers etc, and its constituent parts. Identify whether they are likely to create a risk from exposure to legionella, and whether:

  • the water temperature in all or some parts of the system is between 20–45 °C
    water is stored or re-circulated as part of your system
  • there are sources of nutrients such as rust, sludge, scale, organic matter and biofilms
  • the conditions are likely to encourage bacteria to multiply
  • it is possible for water droplets to be produced and, if so, whether they can be dispersed over a wide area, e.g. showers
  • it is likely that any of your tenants are more susceptible to infection due to age, illness, a weakened immune system etc and whether they could be exposed to any contaminated water droplets

If the inspection finds that the risks are insignificant and are being properly managed to comply with the law, your assessment is complete. You will not need to take any further action, but it is important to review your assessment periodically in case anything changes.

If a tenant was to contract Legionaires disease from the water system in their home, the landlord may be liable to prosecution and would have to demonstrate to a court that they had fulfilled their legal duty. So it is important that the landlord has the property assesed and risks controlled

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