Schools will soon be breaking up for the summer holidays and if you are the Duty Holder or appointed responsible person, e.g. head teacher, you have a legal responsibility to ensure that your school is suitably protected from any water safety risks. When dealing with water hygiene issues in schools, frequent reviews and updates to your Legionella risk assessment are key to keeping water systems safe. 
The risk of legionella taking a grip on a school’s water system over the summer holidays should never be underestimated. 
One of the first steps is to perform a legionella risk assessment, with direct regards to all hot and cold water systems in situ on the school’s premises, and if identifying any issues which raise concern, carrying out any remedial work. 
All schools, colleges, academies and places of further and higher education are duty-bound under HSE compliancy regulations to both identify and assess all sources of potential compromises to the health and wellbeing of those who use the facilities in question, even during times of little/no use. 
Please take note of the following steps to ensure your school is protected. 
All water outlets, hot and cold, in the school/college building should be flushed through weekly for 2 minutes and records should be kept by the Duty holder. This extends to all out-building/sports halls/gyms too, and incorporates all tanks, calorifiers and associated outlets. 
Water samples should also be considered for collection prior to the start of the new term. 
Showers should be flushed for 2 minutes. Showerheads are designed to produce spray and they should be run through in a bucket of water to prevent spray. If the showerhead is fixed and no bag can be used, run the shower head very slowly for 1 minute and move away from the shower then increase the flow for a further 1 minute. 
Toilets need to be flushed to circulate fresh water through the system and empty the cistern, ensure the toilet seat lid is down. 
Set a Rinse Cycle on all washing machines and dishwashers before the start of term. 
Outside taps and hoses need to be flushed through. The water should be run slowly to avoid spray for 1 minute and can then run faster for a further 4 minutes. Flushing the hose pipe, remove nozzle / spray gun from the end of hose and slowly run off water to a drain or safe area for 5 minutes then refit nozzle and use. Never leave a hose pipe connected to the bib tap, empty the water out of garden hoses after use and do not leave full hoses in the sun after use. 
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