The Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering have published a new risk management briefing for water systems.
Mitigating the Risk of Building Water Systems is a guide to the water safety aspects of reopening buildings after lockdown.
As businesses return to buildings following the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to guarantee that building water systems are safe before occupancy resumes, says the guide.
While offices, restaurants, gyms, leisure centres, schools and other buildings have been unoccupied during the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19, water left sitting in pipes could change in quality.
Stagnant or standing water can cause conditions that allow for growth and spread of Legionella, other biofilm-associated bacteria and harmful contaminants. When water is stagnant, hot and cold-water temperatures can decrease or increase respectively to the legionella growth range (20–50 C°).
Stagnant water can also lead to low or undetectable levels of disinfectant, such as chlorine, so it is vital to make sure that water systems are safe to use after a prolonged shutdown to minimise the risk of legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with poor water quality.
The guidance can be found here.