Broken pump lead to death from Legionnaire's disease at Bath hospital

With news that a recent inquest has found that Legionnaire’s disease was to blame for a death at a Bath hospital last year, Chris Meir, sales director at Andrews Water Heaters, says the need for preventative measures remains a priority for manufacturers, specifiers and estate managers alike:
“While new outbreaks of Legionella have greatly diminished in this country, it’s saddening to hear that lives are still being lost because the correct procedures are not in place.
“To combat the risk of Legionella, hot water must be stored and distributed above 60ºC to ensure the bacteria cannot survive. In the case at Royal United Hospital, a broken pump meant that the return temperature was not hot enough to prevent bacteria growth, demonstrating the importance of regular and thorough system checks and servicing.
“To compound the issue, a lack of access to the original water system diagrams meant that the estate manager was unaware both that the broken pump existed and that there were issues with the pump design which meant that Legionella bacteria would remain in the system long after remedial actions were taken. Here, Building Information Modelling (BIM) will play an increasingly important role, ensuring that key information on the design of a system is easily to hand.
“At the same time, specifying water heaters at design stage that feature a built in anti-legionella programme with measures to reduce thermal stacking and increase turbulence can help to ensure that the full tank of stored water is kept above 60ºC.”

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