Legionella – Hotels, Hostels and B&B’s

Importance of Legionalla Management in hotels?

It is well known that the UK hospitality industry and particularly the hotel industry prides itself on excellence in customer service and provision of comfortable and safe accommodation and facilities. For many London based hotels, particularly from the luxury end of the market, the competition is fierce and the quality of the water services can have an effect on the Hotels success.

Clean and safe domestic water and crystal clear leisure pools, water features and spa baths for example support a hotels positive reputation. Likewise, poor management of the water services can quickly damage the reputation of any Hotel.

It is well understood and accepted that legionella are able to colonise hotel water systems very quickly and at numbers that will increase the risk of infection if poorly managed.

The nature of hotel accommodation means that like sports venues, and some leisure facilities, the usage is seasonal with periods of high water usage and periods of very low water usage. This issue of intermittent or fluctuation in water usage is in sync with the travel and tourism high and low seasons. This results in periodically low water turnover and potential stagnation from time to time.

Hotels also have the issue of some rooms being easier to rent than others. This means in most hotels you will normally get a few rooms which only ever get occupied when the hotel is operating near 100% capacity.

Again this type of intermittent use can significantly increase the risks associated with Hotels, Hostels and B&B’s.

Due to the nature of such premises, and the fact that occupants will normally be exposed to aerosol water droplets when using the showers in bedrooms and communal areas for example. The requirements and enforcement of risk assessment for such premises will be relatively well policed.

For 10 years now we have been providing risk assessments and water hygiene control regimes to cover various Hoteliers, Hostels and B&B’s throughout London and the UK.

If your require a legionella risk assessment or routine water management or monitoring programme to cover your Hotel chain or individual hostel give Aqua Legion a call as we are able to help.

The first known Legionella Outbreak occured in a Hotel

Legionnaires’ disease was first identified when the American Legion gathered to attend its annual three day convention  back in July 21st 1976. The convention was held in the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. More than 2,000 Legionaires, mostly men, attended the convention.

As a result, over 130 individuals were infected with nearly 40 of those individuals eventually dying. Since understanding the cause of death, the disease was given the name Legionnaires’ disease. Since this initial outbreak our understanding of legionella has improved significantly to the point where such large outbreaks are becoming much more rare.

This is particularly true for outbreaks from air conditioning systems and particularly cooling towers. However, this is due to strict regulations put on managing such items in the UK. Strict regulation on such items is due to the increased risk of infecting the wider and general population from cooling towers particularly.

Nonetheless, since initial outbreaks and robust guidance on managing the risk in cooling towers and air conditioning systems, a person is now considered to be three times more likely to contract legionnaires disease from a standard domestic water supply or system than a cooling tower or air conditioning system.