Holiday and Caravan Parks are great locations for families to spend time together and share memories however they are also great locations for Legionella Bacteria to colonise and form substantial risk to Guests and employees. If the conditions are right, legionella bacteria will thrive, so actions must be taken to control the risks and keep people safe.

Key FACTS about Legionella Bacteria and Legionnaires Disease:

  • Legionella Bacteria thrives at temperatures between 20 ˚C and 45˚C
  • Legionnaires disease is a potentially fatal form of Pneumonia cause by Legionella Bacteria
  • Those who are elderly, infirm or have a weaker immune system are at higher risk

The ACoP L8 is the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) approved code of practice on the Control of Legionella Bacteria within water systems. It details legal duties that Responsible Persons have within each Holiday and Caravan Park to minimise risk to the public.

Holiday and Caravan Parks can be a sector with increased risk due to seasonality of use where guests may be more likely to visit during the summer moths. In quieter periods there is more chance of water stagnation due to less demand for water, which is provides favourable growing conditions for legionella bacteria, especially when temperatures begin to rise.

In Holiday Parks, like anywhere else, Legionella bacteria can thrive in Hot and Cold-water systems and can be found lurking in swimming pools, showers and hose pipes…basically anywhere that contains water! The greatest danger comes from outlets that produce aerosols including hose pipes and showers where the droplets can be inhaled into the lungs potentially causing infection.

What does this mean for Park Owners and Duty Holders?

It is a legal requirement for Park owners and Duty Holders to have a Legionella Risk Assessment carried out at every site to understand the water systems in place, their general usage and whether any risks exist which could provide favourable conditions for Legionella Bacteria to colonise.

A Risk Assessment will identify potential sources of risk and provide suggested remedial actions in order to minimise the risk. It will also allow a system of control measures to be put in place, including:

  • Temperature monitoring
  • Flushing regimes to minimise water stagnations
  • Cleaning and disinfection of showerheads & hoses
  • Cleaning and disinfection of domestic hot and cold water storage vessels and associated services
  • Servicing of Thermostatic Mixing Valves (TMV’s) – these need to be in working order to prevent scalding as well as creating an ideal environment for the bacteria

It can be daunting when faced with Legionella Control regulatory requirements especially with many other duties placed on Park owners and operators. However, setting out a robust control programme with routine monitoring throughout the year not only reduces the risk to guests and staff but will also reduce pressure on Park owners, allowing them to manage their water systems and associated risks in confidence.

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