There are many guidance documents circulating that give guidance on how to reopen buildings and re-commission water systems following a vacant period due to COVID-19.
Simply reopening a building that has stood idle, or has been partially open, without addressing the safety of its water system is
unacceptable and is likely to be in breach of the law. If Duty Holders are not able to put in place a proper re-commissioning process to use the water system safely, they should
not reopen the building. In addition to legionella risk, drinking water retained within buildings may no longer be potable following a period of prolonged stagnation and may be susceptible to other waterborne pathogens such as; Pseudomonas,
Cryptosporidium and Norovirus etc.
For very simple buildings flushing alone may be sufficient. But, for most buildings, some form of disinfection is likely to be needed.
For schools that have an SLA with Building and Technical Services (BTS), a service provision will be included to manage the process on behalf of the school through the water hygiene contractor who will disinfect the water systems to ensure they are safe
for use. To avoid water stagnation, on-going control measures may be required at properties which are not operating at full capacity. All legionella reports from the contractor are sent to the Council’s Legionella Officer who is overseeing the process and
who will monitor progress and raise any concerns flagged by the reports.
Schools that do not have an SLA with BTS must ensure they manage the re-commissioning of their water system. The Council strongly recommends using one which is a member of the ‘Legionella Control Association’
Any school who has not yet completed their SLA registration on line (due to the lockdown) can still do so by visiting the BTS website and clicking on ‘customer login’ and completing the relevant information https://bts.bradford.gov.uk/.
If cover has lapsed then it will be re-instated immediately