Birmingham Schools has another health concern to worry about in addition to COVID-19. Legionella bacteria has been discovered in the district’s water supply. In an email to families on Wednesday, district officials said that “during this year’s water testing” they were made aware of “increased levels of legionella.” Not all sites in the district have been tested, but the email said locker room shower access has been closed at both high schools, as well as at the middle schools. Students and staff at all buildings in the district are encouraged to bring their own water bottles from home. “BPS will provide bottled water for drinking instead of using fountains or water filling stations until additional testing and any potential mitigation is performed throughout the District,” the email read. “Taps that are not designated for drinking water should only be used for handwashing and other non-potable uses and are marked accordingly.”
Expert Legionella Assistance for the Education Sector
Why is it so important to control legionella in an educational environment? The first reason is that there are vulnerable people present both the young and old with a mixture of medical backgrounds who might be exposed to legionnaires disease. Secondly, legionella can grow in water systems and plumbing but it mostly favors temperatures between 20-50°C and stagnant water. Both of which regularly occur in schools.
LegionellaSafe Services Managing Director Steve Morris says “With schools having been subject to not only closure but also reduced capacity due to COVID19,this has an impact on water consumption and can lead to considerable stagnant water. This combined with poor temperatures can lead to the rapid growth of Legionella. Due to the size of schools, the stored water is often in excess of 1000L. This stored water may stagnate considerably if a regular weekly flushing regime is not implemented across holiday periods or times of infrequent use.
We already work with schools to ensure their Legionella Compliance is met and are managing the maintenance requirements with regards to water flushing and checks during these unprecedented times.”
Tel : 0800 080 3045