With the ongoing issue with this wretched COVID virus and reduced Building usage due to non-occupancy of tenants, we are providing guidance on water regulation compliance when the building is bought back on line with full occupancy.
The information below provides clear Guidance for Recommissioning Closed Water Systems in a Building and what is expected once the COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed.
It is essential that when buildings reopen following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, that any water system is not simply put straight back into use. During the period of shutdown it would be sensible to formulate a recommissioning plan for each water system to allow safe start-up and assurance to users that it is safe to use.
The Duty holders are able to access competent help from Polyteck/Pristine remotely during the period of restricted movement to discuss suitable action plans.
If your building has an evaporative cooling systems this should already have robust start-up and shut-down procedures in place and the expectation is that these will be followed.
The minimum expectation for small, simple hot and cold water systems would be flushing through with fresh mains water.
Larger buildings, those with storage tanks, showers, calorifiers and more complex pipework the expectation is likely to be for more extensive flushing followed by cleaning and disinfection.
During the flushing and or cleaning process it is important that all services throughout the buildings can be accessed so that any particulate matter can be flushed through.
Where cleaning and disinfection is carried out, it is very important to monitor the decrease in disinfectant level over the course of the contact time. Loss of more than 40% disinfectant concentration could indicate influence of biofilm.
Where buildings have been empty for some time and during warm weather, it is likely that some increase in bacteria levels and biofilm will occur. These water systems may require more than a simple disinfection at 50ppm of chlorine for an hour to be successful. It may be required to repeat some disinfections to achieve success. Each building will be need to be assessed to ensure the correct process is carried out to achieve satisfactory results.
In all cases where systems are being recommissioned it is recommended to have evidence to prove/reassure that the recommissioning process has been effective. Sampling to BS7592 should be considered for recommissioning plans to validate the effectiveness of the process.
As per HSG274 part 2, samples should be taken 2-7 days following recommissioning and not on the day of disinfection. Follow up samples may need to be considered as part of the recommissioning plan.
It is also worth considering that In addition to the flushing of Hot Water systems, Businesses should consider installing our IoT Water Temperature monitoring system. These can be installed quickly and easily to Water Storage tanks and other points in closed systems where high/low water temperatures should be monitored.
Small wireless sensors are fitted in a matter of minutes and at a cost of just £55/Month including monitoring for a 12/month contract.
Instant alerts will let you know when there is a potential problem of excessive temperatures so action can be taken to minimise risks
We hope the above information is informative, please do feel free to contact us if you require a quotation or any further assistance or information.