Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Water Treatment Company
Some businesses use a specialist water treatment company experienced in maintaining, checking, and treating engineered water systems that are at risk of exposing people to legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease. If you are considering hiring such a treatment company, there are several questions you should consider first. We’ve detailed the most important ones here.
Do you need a water treatment company?
Not all businesses and premises will require a detailed and in-depth approach to combating legionella. A legionella risk assessment should always be conducted as your first step, but the result of that assessment should help you determine whether it is necessary to take any further steps. In some cases, where the risk is deemed minimal, no other action may be required. A good example of this would be a simple but well maintained buy-to-let property where the water system is regularly used, and the property is not left empty for long periods.
Your water treatment contractor and legionella risk assessment company should not be the same organisation, as potential conflicts of interest can arise.
Are you competent enough to perform the necessary treatment tasks?
There is no requirement to hire a water treatment company to handle the necessary legionella control tasks for you. However, if you don’t appoint a specialist company then you must be certain you are competent to do whatever is required to comply with the law.
Your legionella risk assessment should be conducted as per the recommendations from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in their Approved Code of Practice ACOP L8 and guidance document HSG274. The British Standard BS 8580 also gives excellent guidance on how legionella risk assessments should be completed, who should do them and what they should cover.
A clear understanding of the requirements set out by the HSE here will help you understand and be clear on the steps you must take to control legionella in your water systems. If you do not feel competent to do this, or would prefer to hire professionals, you can do so.
What about legionella training?
It is possible to undertake legionella training to ensure you know what to do, or to send a suitable employee on a training course to achieve the same effect. In this case, you should ensure the training you choose is recognised and approved, such as our City & Guilds accredited courses, in this area before you sign up for it.
Is the water treatment company you are selecting competent to take on this role?
Your water treatment contractor and legionella risk assessment company should not be the same organisation, as potential conflicts of interest can arise. BS 8580 covering risk assessments for legionella control also recommends such a split of services.
Even though you may hire separate professional companies that are specialist in water treatment and legionella risk management to handle these tasks for you, under UK health and safety law it is still your responsibility to ensure everything is done correctly. This means carefully checking the competence and experience held by your chosen companies prior to hiring them to fulfil this role.
By focusing on these three areas and questions, you can be more confident in taking the right course of action when you are looking at your duties in minimising the risks posed by legionella bacteria. This applies whether you are a landlord, a business owner, facilities manager or responsible for managing the levels of legionella bacteria in a water system elsewhere.
World-leading legionella risk management specialists
Our teams of legionella experts support landlords, business and property owners, facilities managers and those responsible for the control of legionella across all regions of the United Kingdom and internationally, delivering professional water safety and legionella management solutions, hazard analysis. water management programs, legionella testing, independent compliance auditing, City & Guilds training and other environmental risk management services.
If you have questions about any of the issues raised above or you would like to speak with one of our specialists please call us today on 0161 877 0586 or contact us here.