The Construction Industry Council (CIC) is the representative forum for the professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations in the construction industry.

Mitigating the Risk of Building Water Systems

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The CIC and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering have released a new Risk Management Briefing. Mitigating the Risk of Building Water Systems. It offers guidance on the water safety aspects of re-opening buildings after lockdown. It was compiled as a result of collaboration between organisations and individuals with an interest in this area.

As businesses return to buildings following the COVID-19 lockdown, it is important to ensure the safety of building water systems before occupancy resumes.

While restaurants, gyms, leisure centres, schools and other buildings have been unoccupied during the lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, water left sitting in pipes could change in quality and so it is important to assess the state of the water systems in buildings before re-opening them.

Stagnant or standing water can causeconditions that increase the risk for growth and spread of Legionella, other biofilm-associated bacteria and harmful contaminants. When water is stagnant, hot and cold water temperatures can decrease or increase respectively to the Legionella growth range(20–50 C°). Stagnant water can also lead to low or undetectable levels of disinfectant, such as chlorine. It is therefore vital to ensure that water systems are safe to use after a prolonged shutdown to minimise the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and otherdiseases associated with poor water quality.

To read the guidance in full, please click here.