Guidance by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) surrounding water hygiene is something that should be followed by all commercial buildings – leisure centres and gyms are included in this!
The HSE’s ACoP L8 with the supporting HSG274 documents ensure that duty holders can comply with regulations when it concerns domestic water systems. In addition to this, The Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group Swimming Pool Water treatment and quality standards for pools and spas alongside the HSE’s HSG282 are also great points of reference for pool water hygiene too.
Leisure centres and gyms often have several different pieces of facilities that involve water management. For example, spas, showers, baths, public pools, drinking fountains and hot tubs. This means oftentimes, breeding grounds for legionella bacteria. As a result, legionella control for leisure centres and gyms is absolutely fundamental.
Legionella can be found in natural and man-made water systems, usually breeding in temperatures between 20 and 45 degrees celsius. The recommended temperature for water systems is around 60 degrees celsius, however, there is scientific research that shows that waterborne bacteria can survive beyond this level. Fortunately, there is also research that shows legionella can be controlled at lower temperatures, providing there is a well maintained water system and copper silver ionisation.
The lower temperatures will make legionella less active but also more time to breed. Rust, scale and biofilm deposits all protect legionella from any measure introduced to control them.
Industrial (and domestic) water systems, such as showers, are an ideal breeding space of legionella. That is why it is very important for any commercial site such as leisure centres and gyms to install a reliable, proven water treatment modality and ensure that water outlets are properly and regularly maintained.