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How to Flush a Water System

January 6th, 2023

Last updated: May 31st, 2023

Flushing your water system could be an essential way to help avoid diseases and ensure that your water hygiene is always up to scratch. It’s something that so many businesses forget about, but it is very important, especially if you are in the position where you have left the system stagnant for any length of time.

Why should you flush a water system anyway? Well, every business has responsibilities when it comes to water, and waterborne diseases such as legionella. While a guide to flushing won’t solve all of your problems, it is one of the many steps that you can use to help keep your water hygiene healthy.

What is Water Flushing?

Before we explain how to flush a water system it is worth explaining what is meant by the term and what it entails.

Flushing is a very simple method that can help to stop legionella and other bacteria building up in your system. It is a way to stop stagnant water from building up where bacteria could have built up. It can help to remove contaminated water and dislodge biofilm just by running the taps in your building for a time.

Your legionella risk assessment should have already considered the water systems present and how they may pose a risk. Flushing might be outlined as a preventative measure, along with storing the water at temperatures that discourage the growth of the bacteria.

Water flushing is basically just purging water that has been sitting within a tank for any long period of time, adding a layer of safety to your water hygiene.

If a commercial building has been left for any period of time then it is hard to know what state the water will be in. Water sampling can help you, but a purge of the existing water should be carried out first.

How to Flush a Water System

“Water system” refers to the system of storage tanks, boilers, and the supply of water in your business.

Flushing it can be as simple as running the taps. Sounds like something you already know how to do, right? We’re not going to pretend this is more complex than that, but there are some things to keep in mind when you are flushing a water system.

  • Make sure the water that has come from the taps drains safely away and isn’t retained anywhere
  • Try to minimise any risks from aerosols being released while you are running the taps, and wear PPE if possible to ensure your safety
  • It may be a good idea to record the flushed outlets and when they were last flushed. You may wish to keep records of when the work has been carried out. It could be tied to other activities such as testing and checking your system.

Legionella training can help you to understand the systems you can put in place to prevent legionella and other waterborne diseases. Flushing is just one of many different lines of defence.

How Often Should I Flush a Water System?

Flushing your water system should definitely be done with some regularity if you are running a business where people are at particularly high risk. For instance, within a hospital, water flushing may be a good idea every week, or even more frequently.

Weekly is a good idea to stay safe in other locations and business types, too.

One of the main risks is when water is left for any significant period of time. For instance, if a business is closed for a week or two. When you return, flushing out any water that has remained stagnant in the system is essential.

Meeting Your Water Responsibilities

As recently as 2018, a company that runs a care home was fined millions for failing to prevent legionella infecting residents. Your water risk assessment should be a professionally-produced document which gives guidance on your water hygiene and help your whole team to keep your building safe.

Our team have the skills to provide the very best Legionella control services in Yorkshire. We’re happy to help with your ongoing compliance and give advice on your water systems, flushing, and other responsibilities. discuss your Legionella control and how we can help with it.

We specialise in Legionella risk assessments as well as training and testing.

Contact our Yorkshire head office today if you need advice on Legionella control – 01423 226578.

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