Following routine testing, it was found that there is a possibility of Legionella at Woodhill House in Aberdeen. Aberdeenshire Council’s headquarters has been closed following the possible discovery of the bacteria in its water systems. (Source here
 
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “Specialists are on site cleaning, flushing and re-testing the water. As a result, the building will be closed until the all-clear is provided. 
 
“Plans were put in place to move staff who must have a presence in an office, and Public Health advice is being shared with colleagues. 
 
“Limited staff and partners are present in the building currently and have been advised by their line manager of what to look out for.” 
 
Although no one has fallen ill, it has again highlighted the risks of the deadly bacteria lurking in water supplies that have been left to stagnate over the lockdown periods which has left many buildings empty. 
it’s important that all business owners and duty holders understand that it’s not safe to re-open a building without first having water systems checked. Periods of inactivity cause systems to stagnate, and even if these systems were drained out beforehand there could well be pockets of water remaining where dangerous bacteria can thrive. 
 
Water systems of all types will need to be recommissioned. 
 
A recommissioning plan should be developed in advance for every building and water system that will eventually be repopulated. The complexity of a plan will vary based on the type, usage, and size of the water system, but should follow a few basic principles: 
 
• When are the premises going to be reoccupied? 
• How many buildings need to be recommissioned? 
• What steps are required to recommission the water system in each building? 
• How long will each step take to complete? 
• Have there been any partially occupied buildings that also require monitoring? 
• Are all parties able to correctly adhere to social distancing measures? 
• What PPE will be required for those performing each step? 
• What is the contingency plan in case test results show bacteria is present? 
 
 
We strongly recommend that you start developing your recommissioning plans now to allow your premises to return to normality as soon as possible. Remember, timing is key and once a building has been recommissioned it cannot be left to stagnate again. 
 
GES Water here to help you every step of the way, so if you’d like assistance with any or all of the above then please reach out to us on 0800 121 8808 or [email protected] 
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