In 2013 the 4th Edition of the ACOP L8 was released. Previous to the 4th edition there was an artificial 300 litre volume limit for hot & cold-water systems. This limit existed because it was felt that there was little to no risk of Legionella developing in smaller water systems. The 4th edition of the ACOP L8 removed the artificial 300 litre limit and for the first time brought smaller domestic systems under the scope of the ACOP L8. This was done because research has shown that Legionella can exist and grow in smaller water systems. In support of the change the HSE released a document called "Essential Information for Providers of Residential Accomodation".
The requirements of the ACOP L8 are simple in terms of domestic properties. Every domestic rented property needs a Legionella Risk Assessment carried out and reviewed at least once every two years by someone who is competent to assess the level of risk posed by Legionella. Following the risk assessment further action including Legionella Testing may be required. You need to update or review the risk assessment at least once every 2 years or if there is reason the believe the risk assessment is no longer valid.
The problem however for housing associations and social landlords is the cost involved in carrying out Legionella Risk Assessments for the number of properties involved. And then reviewing the risk assessments every 2 years.
Our Legionella Risk Assessment Service
Section 2.146 of the HSE's guidance document HSG 274 Part 2 allows for a representative risk assessment to be carried out for housing associations, local authorities and landlords who control several properties of similar design, this refers to domestic only properties. To be of a similar design property’s need to be fitted with similar water heater types, generally be of the same size and in the same area.
As a part of our service we will help you group your housing stock into "representative groups" based on location, water heater type and general design. We will then agree with you how many properties need to be visited and put a plan of works in place to carry out the required inspections.