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Legionella Coronavirus Advice

Legionella risks in vacant properties

With businesses now closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an increased risk of legionella in water systems.

If you are a business owner or operator, a landlord or property manager, or you manage a water system, you need to be aware of the risks of legionella around water stagnating.

As a general principle, outlets on hot and cold water systems should be used at least once a week to maintain a degree of water flow and to minimise the chances of stagnation.

To manage the risks during non-occupancy, you should consider implementing a suitable flushing regime or other measures such as draining the system if it is to remain vacant for long periods. View further guidance on the HSE website.

This guidance also applies to workplaces which become less occupied (such as out-patient wards).

Other water systems that aren’t currently in use, such as leisure, sports and swimming and spa pool facilities should also be considered. You can follow the procedures described in the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group Code of Practice.

Guidance has also been produced by the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease on managing Legionella in building water systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.