Preventing Legionella

During the lockdown, many business premises have been temporarily closed and may not have been occupied for some time. Water lying in pipes and other water systems may have allowed Legionella bugs to grow.

When these services are reopened, there is a risk that this contaminated water will become an aerosol, especially from shower heads, taps, and also more specialist equipment such as hot tubs, cooling towers or other facilities.

It is important to consider your reopening procedure in time to be able to book in water treatment specialists, facilities management teams etc so that you’re ready to open your doors when the time comes.
If water systems have been unused during the ‘lockdown’, they need to be maintained and brought back to full use according to best practice guidance, and Health & Safety Executive advice. It is important to demonstrate that you are achieving effective control of water quality during your closure, to avoid the very real risk of problems such as Legionella, other micro-organisms or algae growth.
The Health and Safety Executive website has lots of information on what you need to do to prevent these problems. 

We recommend that you review your existing risk assessment and follow guidance on measures including water inspection, cleaning, monitoring and recording. 

Hot and cold water systems and cooling towers

This checklist applies to all hot and cold water systems and cooling towers: Control of legionella bacteria in water systems - audit checklists (pdf 444KB).

Managing a pool during closure

If you have a swimming pool or spa pool the options are to reduce or stop water circulation. See Guidance on temporary pool closure

Local businesses are facing extreme challenges at the moment and Hammersmith & Fulham Council stands with its business community. Your continued compliance with the government’s requirement to remain closed is very important and will help to save lives.

Please visit Business section for all the latest advice and support for businesses.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact the Food and Safety Team at

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