If you are thinking of setting up a dental practice in the UK, then you should definitely know about the Legionella bacteria, which is responsible for millions of deaths across the world every year and is an increasing concern in Britain too. The UK does have some strict guidelines and recommendations that dentists are expected to comply with in order to combat these bacteria. But to do so, you will need some basic info about Legionella.
The Danger with Water Lines
When using the water lines in your office, it is highly possible that the water remains stagnant if not used for long periods of time, especially overnight. And combined with a warmer temperature in the pipes, this becomes a perfect breeding ground for Legionella. While it is suggested to keep such bacteria to just 100 Colony Forming Units (CFU) in order to make the water usable, the truth is that the bacteria inside the waterline can grow to up to 19,500 CFUs. And given that the Legionella can grow to more than 195 times the maximum levels, it should be easy to understand why this would be an incredible health risk.
Getting Rid Of Legionella
Once you find out that there is a buildup of Legionella, you need to clear them out from the waterline. And the easiest way to do this will be to flush the water for about 2 or 3 minutes every day before you start work. And when seeing the patients, flush the water again for about 20 to 30 seconds. Doing so will reduce the bacterial count by more than two-thirds. And at the end of the working day, when you are about to switch off the lights to the office, disconnect the bottle, wash it and let it dry overnight. Plus, remember to never put tap water into the bottles. Since the tap water might have bacteria in them, the bottle can introduce these bacteria to the waterline, eventually resulting in rapid Legionella growth.
Legionella Risk Assessment
In the UK, you will need to comply with the Legionella risk assessment, which is expected to have a waterline management scheme written by a person who has the experience and the know-how to do this. As a result, water lines are fitted with anti-retraction valves as per the regulations set up by the European Union.
Disinfection And Dosing
It is also recommended that you disinfect the water lines every day. The process might vary depending on the manufacturer. So, read the manual to check what the correct disinfection procedure is. However, the disinfection process may not be sufficient in all cases to remove the bacterial growth completely. In such a situation, you can use any dosing product to remove the biofilm from the water.
And if you are doubtful as to whether the waterline in your office is affected by the Legionella, make sure to buy dental legionella tests from Aquacert. These tests will tell you exactly how worse the situation is and will help you act accordingly.