Legionella and Whirlpool Baths – We Bust The Myths and Answer Your Questions
Ever wondered if your whirlpool bath is a Legionella outbreak waiting to happen? We bust some myths by answering some common questions that people ask!
Q: Is it safe to use a whirlpool bath?
A: There is no Legionella risk at all as long as your whirlpool bath is connected to a hot water system that keeps the water at the optimum 60 degrees Celsius all the way to the taps that fill the bath. This is true for both water ad air injection systems.
Q: Is there an increased risk of Legionella in a whirlpool bath that is not fed by a hot water system?
A: Yes, so there are special measures that need to be taken. These include: disinfecting the water with chlorine (0.5 mg/litre free chlorine) and ensuring that the water pH is between 6.8 and 7.8. When not in use the baths ad the pipes should be disinfected with a specialist cleaning agent used for swimming pools.
Q: Do whirlpool baths supplied by hot water have to be disinfected?
A: No, as long as the hot water system in working properly and the water reaches a minimum temperature of 60 degrees Celsius all the way to the taps.
Q: Can Legionella bacteria multiply in a whirlpool bath that that isn’t drained after use?
A: As long as the water fed to it is a minimum of 60 degrees Celsius all the way to the taps, the pH value is between 6.8 and 7.8 and the water is disinfected with chlorine (0.5 mg/litre free chlorine) there is no risk at all.
Q: Is a whirlpool bath safe if it hasn’t been used for a long time?
A: It is advisable to fill the bath with water of the optimum minimum of 60 degrees Celsius, turn on for around 10 minutes and then drain again. Alternatively, you can disinfect the bath and pipes with a specialist cleaning agent used for swimming pools.
Q: Is there a risk if the whirlpool bath and pipes are dry aster use?
A: When circulation pumps are dry after use, the there is a very small risk that Legionella bacteria will multiply in the pump and pipes. To be totally risk-free, fill with water (minimum 60 degrees Celsius), turn on for around 10 minutes and then drain again – or disinfect bath with a specialist cleaning agent used for swimming pools.
Q: What extra precautions need to be taken for a public whirlpool bath?
A: Due to higher temperatures and more water movement, the chlorine used to disinfect the water will vaporise at a faster rate, the pH value is also likely to change making the chlorine less effective. As such it is recommended that regular checks on the chlorine content and the pH are carried out.
Q: Can I check for Legionella Bacteria myself?
A: No. The checks require specialist knowledge, equipment and extensive lab testing. If you are concerned in any way about the risk of Legionella bacteria being present in your whirlpool bath, contact us immediately.
Did you know that as a homeowner you are responsible for the prevention of Legionnaires Disease in your own bath? By law, it is the Duty Holder who will be prosecuted in the event of an outbreak unless it can be shown that the necessary precautions were taken to limit risk. You can find out more about who a Duty Holder is in our blog Duty Holder vs Responsible Person – Understanding L8 Compliance