Safe potable water is important for schools, universities, and colleges. Luckily, the occupants of these buildings tend to be at lower risk for Legionella than those in hospitals and nursing homes. Although healthy kids and young adults are less likely to develop Legionnaires’ disease and other waterborne pathogens than older people or those with compromised immune systems, educational institutions should still take thorough steps to safeguard the water. This is especially true after summer breaks when the water has been unused for months. Bacteria can develop and proliferate in stagnant water within the plumbing systems.
Protecting Students, Teachers, & Staff From Legionella
Water management plans must be in place with a designated team tasked with ensuring the plan is implemented and preventative maintenance is completed. A seven-step Legionella risk assessment will examine prospective sources of Legionella throughout the building to determine potential problems and areas susceptible to bacteria growth.
It is important to evaluate the hot and cold water systems to make sure they are maintained at optimal temperatures. For example, Legionella thrives in temperatures above 20° C (104° F) and below 45° C (113° F). Hot water should be kept at 50° C (120° F) or higher before the taps and cold water kept below 20° C (68° F) (ACOP L8 document from Health & Safety Executive). Temperatures should be monitored as part of a regular maintenance schedule.
If there is Legionella in the potable water system, installing point-of-use (POU) water filters throughout the building protects students and staff by not only filtering Legionella but a variety of other waterborne pathogens. Whether it’s in faucets, drinking fountains, ice machines, or showerheads, POU filters can provide an immediate extra level of safety as water quality in schools can vary from season to season during the school year.
AquaMedix Can Help Your Organization Provide Safer Water
Access to fresh water is critical, especially for people with compromised immune systems. AquaMedix designs, manufactures, and distributes water filtration systems for the control of waterborne pathogens found in potable water. Products include shower filtration systems, inline water filters, and faucet water filter systems.
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