Looking for answers?

Browse through our frequently asked questions below. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for then please get in touch and one the team will be happy to help.

Do my team members need Legionella training?

There are two main types of legionella training: City and Guilds qualifications to become a legionella risk assessor, and more general legionella awareness training. Businesses do not need their own legionella risk assessor – in fact, the qualification alone is not enough to fulfil the requirements of a risk assessment, as the assessor must also have an appropriate level of experience to qualify. However, more general legionella awareness training can help your team to understand their responsibilities for preventing legionella build-up, and can help to ensure that legionella management processes are followed.

Who can conduct legionella risk assessments?

Legionella risk assessments must be carried out by a competent and experienced individual – that is, somebody who has both the right level of training, and previous experience in conducting risk assessments. If a legionella risk assessment is carried out by somebody who doesn’t meet these criteria, your business could be put at risk of legal action in the event of a breakout, so it’s important to be sure that your risk assessment is conducted by somebody with the right knowledge and experience. Our legionella team are all fully qualified and have extensive experience in conducting legionella risk assessments.

How often should I get a legionella risk assessment done?

HSE no longer provides specific guidance on how often risk assessments should be carried out. The best timescales will vary depending on the type of business, the nature of your facilities, and the level of risk they pose. Our highly trained and experienced legionella team will be able to advise based on your facilities, network and water use.

What laws affect legionella?

Health and safety laws in the UK place the responsibility of ensuring against legionella on building owners, landlords and facilities managers. While there are no specific laws regarding legionella and legionnaires’ disease (unlike asbestos and lead) there are overarching obligations under sections 2 & 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation (1994).

What causes legionella build-up?

Elements that may affect your susceptibility to legionella build-up include:

  • Water temperature – legionella survives and flourishes in water temperatures between 20°C and 45°C
    Storage – water that is stored, recirculated, or left to stagnate has an increased chance of legionella build-up.
  • Breathability – situations in which water is formed into breathable droplets – e.g. showers or evaporative condenser – allow legionella bacteria to be airborne, increasing the chances of inhalation.
  • Deposits in the system – a build up of rust, sludge, organic matter or biofilms in your system can support bacterial growth, meaning dangerous bacterial strains such as legionella can thrive.
I think I have a leak - what should I do?

If you suspect a leak on your business premises, it’s best to get it sorted as soon as possible. Not only can a leak result in significant costs for your business, there’s also a chance that over time it can cause serious damage and cost your business even more in major repair works and disruption to your operations. If you’ve noticed an unexplained increase in your water usage, contact our leak detection team on 0800 028 3557 and select option 2. Our specialists can carry out a comprehensive leak detection survey, track the leak to its source and repair the problem quickly, efficiently and with minimal disruption your business.

I have a serious problem with my water - what should I do?

Noticing a problem with your water, such as a severe spike in your meter readings, low water pressure or more immediate signs such as visible leakage or flooding, can be a stressful, high pressure situation, particularly if your business is related to healthcare, housing or responsible for vulnerable people, or if water is a vital part of your manufacturing process.

Our team ensures a tailored response to minimise risk of loss of business or of further health and safety issues, and once the problem is rectified we can work with you to put into place prevention measures for any future problems. Read our case study to see how we dealt with a serious problem at NHS Sunderland Royal Hospital.

What benefits are there to investing in water management for my business?

If you or your business is responsible for a building or work premises, strategic water management services can save your company money, reduce the risk of serious water issues arising and can contribute to your business’ corporate social responsibility.

  • Save money – Leaks, faults or high levels of water wastage can incur significant costs for your business. By carrying out full and comprehensive water and effluent efficiency audits, our team can identify areas in your water system where savings can be made, and work with you to implement solutions that are tailored to the unique challenges your business faces, helping you make potentially significant savings.
  • Reduce risk – With effective water management, your water infrastructure can be monitored, maintained and optimised to ensure that any problems are noticed before any serious damage can be done.
  • Conserve water – our tailored strategies towards reducing water wastage can help your business fulfil its corporate social responsibilities. As well as identifying and implementing methods of reducing water wastage in your business’ everyday operations, we can also advise on other water conservation solutions such as rainwater harvesting and grey water recycling.

The sooner an effective water management strategy is in place, the sooner your business can start to see the benefits. Our specialist team adopts a no-nonsense approach to water management, and work with you to identify bespoke solutions for your business. Contact us for more information.

How can my business save water?

There are many ways in which businesses of all kinds can save water. The specific methods your business should adopt are dependent on your business’ needs and the unique challenges your business faces.

Through detailed metering and by carrying out a comprehensive water and effluent efficiency audit, our team of specialists can gain an in-depth knowledge of how your business uses water. It’s then possible to identify key areas in your business’ water usage where savings can be made and efficiency improved. Issues such as small leaks, faulty plumbing and inefficient equipment and practices can all play a part in increased water usage.

Once issues have been identified, our team adopts a tailored approach to carrying out repair and improvement works, and is dedicated to working in a way that results in as little disruption to your business’ operations as possible.

If your business would like to implement further water saving techniques, our experts are on hand to advise on what methods would suit your business best, whether that’s rainwater harvesting, advanced anaerobic digestion or grey water recycling.

What are my business' legal requirements for water?

There are a number of water requirements businesses must legally meet, however there are two main legal obligations.

Legionella Risk Management – Legionella is a bacteria that thrives in water ways, and when inhaled can lead to potentially fatal cases of Legionnaires Disease. Appropriate assessment, management and monitoring of your water infrastructure for legionella risk is part of your legal duty as a facilities manager or business owner. Our team of experts in legionella management can work with you to ensure peace of mind that your premises is safe against the possibility of Legionnaires outbreaks and fully legally compliant. Find out more on Legionella prevention.

Water Fittings Regulations – These regulations exist to protect main water supplies from contamination, and require that all new water systems or fittings supplied from public mains are safe and high quality. Businesses fitting new water systems or carrying out improvement works on existing systems are required to adhere to certain requirements, including pressure testing all new equipment, ensuring work is completed to appropriate quality standards and that chlorination and sanitising processes have been completed on all new systems to ensure harmful bacteria is eradicated.

Ensuring compliance can be a complicated and overwhelming task. Our experts can guide you through your business’ legal obligations and give you peace of mind that your water systems and operations are safe, clean and within the law.

Who is responsible for the water pipes on my premises?

Any water pipes within the boundaries of your business premises are the responsibility of the business owner. It’s therefore advisable to gain a good understanding of your premises’ water infrastructure and keep it in good condition, as you will be responsible for rectifying any problems and paying for any repairs.

Our Network Mapping services can help you gain full knowledge of your water infrastructure with little to no disruption to your business’ day to day operations. Using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) surveys, our team draw up a full map of your underground utilities, voids and any other underground structures with no digging or excavating whatsoever. Our team can also advise on any potential risks in your underground infrastructure, and support you through any remedial or maintenance work that may need to be carried out, ensuring that your water systems are in good health and pose low risk of any problems arising.

Find out more about our network mapping services.

I'm interested in investing in rainwater harvesting/ anaerobic digestion/ grey water recycling systems - can you help?

With years of experience in providing water conserving and money saving solutions for businesses, our experts are perfectly placed to advise on your water efficiency solutions and help your business implement the above technologies and systems.

Before implementing these systems, however, we recommend businesses first look at simple steps they can take towards reducing water usage in their current operations and infrastructure. Most businesses will see significant savings simply by implementing small improvements, and may see faster return on investment this way than by investing in more complex systems. Our experts can talk you through your business’ specific needs and help you identify the most beneficial solutions for your business.

How often should I be reading my water meter?

We recommend regular monitoring of your water meter, as this information is hugely beneficial when it comes to noticing unusual water usage levels and identifying potential problems. The most effective way to monitor your water usage is to implement an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system in your premises.

This technology provides you with real-time data on your usage, and clear online reporting tools, so if any problems with your water infrastructure arises, you can spot it before it causes any serious damage. The data provided by AMR can also highlight areas in which your water systems can become more efficient and reduce water usage, saving your business money and conserving water. Find out more about AMR.

How can I reduce my sewerage and trade effluent costs?

Sewerage and trade effluent costs can often be largest charges on a business’ water bill. There are a number of ways to reduce these charges, including:

  • Reduce usage – the less water you use, the less you discharge as sewerage or trade effluent. By streamlining your business’ operations to use less water, you could dramatically reduce your water bill.
  • Reduce effluent – for example by re-using greywater or by changing the chemicals used within your business processes
  • Treating and filtering – reduce the strength of the trade effluent discharged, either by pre-treating or filtering it
  • Repurposing  – instead of discharging trade effluent, find a way to repurpose it, for example by processing it into a new raw material which can be sold on.

Our experts have years worth of experience and knowledge in helping businesses understand their water, sewerage and trade effluent uses. Find out more about how we can help you reduce your costs by contacting us.

How is my business water bill calculated?

Your water bill comprises of a number of different charges, and it’s worth understanding what you’re being billed for in case some charges don’t apply to you.

  • Water – the volume of water entering your premises. Most businesses have a water meter, and are billed based on regular readings (or estimates if the meter is not accessible). Your water charge will include a standing charge, plus rate for water volume.
  • Waste water – the volume of “foul sewerage” leaving your premises, i.e. from toilets and sinks.
  • Sewerage and drainage – businesses are charged for the collection and treatment of rainwater which drains off your property and back into the water system. This is generally an estimated amount. There’s also a standing charge for maintaining drainage on public roads.
  • Trade effluent – waste water that contains dangerous chemicals including oils, detergents, heavy metals and food waste. Businesses must agree with their water provider the volume of trade effluent and level of contamination that the business can discharge into the water network. This is often worked out using the Mogden formula, which provides a consistent standard for such measurements.

Our experts can support you in reducing your business’ water usage and saving money on water bills through our water and effluent efficiency audits.

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