At Inta, we aren’t experts in barges or asylum seeking, but we are experts in managing water supplies and in our opinion there is no need for the operators of any residential units whether floating or not to be caught out by legionella.
Following the controversy of asylum seekers being housed on the Bibby Stockholm barge in Dorset, the Government has faced more criticism after the vessel was evacuated due to the presence of legionella in its water system.
All hot water systems are designed to defeat legionella with regular use, which is why hot water systems heat the water to a temperature far above what is practical to use, so common water borne bacteria, like legionella, can’t survive the heat. Then there’s the issue of cooling the water back down again to safe temperatures near the outlet, so that people don’t get scalded.
That’s where our famous thermostatic mixing valves come in; Inta TMVs have been leading the UK market for many years, blending hot and cold water at the point of use to provide users with safe temperatures. But every specifier and installer knows that.
Issues of bacterial growth occur when water is able to stagnate in a pipe for long periods, especially in cosy warm conditions. They love it.
What many installers and specifiers might not know, is that there’s an Inta valve available that features a bypass device to flush the preceding pipework and valve if it hasn’t been used for a while. This lets hot water run, killing the bacteria and maintaining a safe environment for users of the washroom, or whatever facility it is.
We don’t know what regulations the controversial barge was built to, but it would appear that it isn’t fitted with Inta’s legionella-busting valves.
Legionella isn’t particularly fussy, and as the subject has come up in the national consciousness again, luckily this time with no deaths, we think it’s a good time to remind anyone responsible for residential barges, that there is technology available to keep this problem at bay.
Once in regular use, hot water systems pose very little threat, but it’s when they’re standing unused for long periods, a maintenance routine is necessary to keep things safe.