Hotels, Schools and Training Institutions

Legionnaires’ disease was first discovered after an outbreak in 1976 among people who went to a convention of the American Legionnaires in Philadelphia. They all stayed in the same hotel and some contracted the disease from the hotel’s water supply. Over 130 people were infected, and 40 individuals have died. So the risk of Legionella was actually first realised in Hotel accommodation.

As suggested by EU-OSHA – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work ‘Most engineered water systems, especially complex ones such as in those found in healthcare facilities and hotels, will have areas containing biofilms, even when the system is well maintained. When control measures, such as temperature control or disinfection regimes, are relaxed, microorganisms will quickly multiply, increasing the risk of Legionellae colonisation’

The risks are most commonly associated with:

  • showers
  • domestic hot / cold water systems
  • Spa pools, Turkish baths and saunas
  • cooling towers and air conditioning systems
  • fountains and misting apparatus

Bacteria are able to colonise these systems very quickly and in very high numbers.

The temperature within showers is normally at an ideal breeding temperature for Legionella(20⁰C-50⁰C). Hotels and schools have periods when the water systems are not fully used or might not even be used at all for several weeks or months. These are good conditions for bio-film growth and Legionella breeding. Each room with a shower installation represents a risk, and even ordinary hand basins can generate an aerosol which could cause infection.  It is strongly recommended that these installations are cleaned and checked regularly, and especially after a slack period.  Facilities which have been closed for weeks during holidays may need to be checked prior to reopening.

What is more, hotels, schools, training facilities etc., have a high duty of care to clients, students, customers and staff. Air conditioners which use wet cooling towers breed Legionella and need to be checked regularly.

The Hydrosense test is a useful tool to use in these situations. It enables you to assess potential risks quickly, protect public and your reputation. The ease of use also means that monitoring tests can be done more frequently with little fuss, providing what amounts to a continuous monitoring system which also reduces risks.

The Hydrosense industrial kit makes it simple to test shower systems. By their nature showers present a high risk because the head is held in the aerosol created by the shower head.  The UK Legionella Approved Code of Practice recommends that all showerheads in commercial/public buildings are removed and cleaned quarterly. While the shower head is removed, the Hydrosense sample point and cell trap filter provide a sample for testing using the Hydrosense test strip. If there is a positive result remedial action can be taken so that your hotel room is quickly available again for rent. A negative result provides proof of due care.