skip to Main Content

Legionella Risk Management During School Holidays

Educational settings, from schools to universities, are tasked with ensuring the safety and well-being of their students and staff year-round. One aspect of safety is Legionella risk management. The threat of Legionella bacteria proliferating in water systems during periods of reduced activity, such as end-of-term holidays, is a matter of concern. In this blog, we will explore Legionella risk management in educational settings, considering both inherent and operational factors, as well as preventive strategies during periods of low usage.

Understanding Legionella Risk

Legionella is a bacterium that thrives in warm, stagnant water. While the original design and setup of water systems in educational settings may incorporate industry best practices, during holiday breaks, many parts of the school, college or university may remain inactive, elevating the operational risk of Legionella contamination.

Effective Legionella Risk Management

Prevent Stagnation: To prevent stagnation, water systems must ensure sufficient water turnover, particularly in areas with low usage. Stagnant water between 20-45°C creates ideal conditions for Legionella growth. Therefore, maintaining adequate temperature differentials is crucial.

Temperature Control: Cold water outlets should consistently be below 20°C, while hot water should be stored above 60°C or no less than 50°C at the outlet. This range helps inhibit bacterial growth.

HSG274 Guidelines: Educational institutions should refer to HSG274 Part 2, Paragraph 2.50 when creating risk mitigation strategies. This guidance is particularly relevant for buildings with intermittent or low usage, offering practical advice on managing them effectively. For detailed information, you can access the document via the following link:

Flushing Protocol: Throughout school holidays, when students and staff are away, and natural water circulation isn’t maintained within educational facilities, it is crucial to implement a flushing protocol during periods of reduced usage. This practice is essential for safe water management and to prevent stagnation. Outlets are now considered infrequently used and should be flushed at a minimum of once a week. However, the optimal flushing frequency may vary depending on the risk assessment for your specific school. Your flushing schedule might need to be as frequent as daily, especially if you have encountered Legionella issues in your school, college, or university. In such cases, we recommend consulting your contractor or contacting us at Dantek, where we can provide expert guidance and assistance.

Legionella Risk Assessment: Carrying out a thorough Legionella risk assessment is a crucial step in proactive Legionella management for educational settings. This assessment acts as a practical tool to pinpoint potential risks and assess how well the current control measures are working. It’s like a roadmap that helps schools, colleges, and universities customize their Legionella prevention strategies to fit their specific situation.

System Maintenance: Systems left unused for extended periods should undergo thorough flushing, cleaning, and disinfection according to British Standards before being recommissioned. This maintenance is essential to prevent potential issues associated with long periods of disuse.

Legionella risk management is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety and well-being of students and staff in educational settings. Proper water system management, temperature control, and adherence to industry guidelines are essential components of a comprehensive Legionella risk management plan. By implementing these strategies, educational settings can reduce the risk of Legionella contamination and create a safe learning and working environments for all, especially during extended breaks when water systems are at their most vulnerable.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of our team on 01454 417 920 or e-mail

Back To Top