RYA releases new Legionella disease guidance

04 Jun 20
Sailing club during lockdown

The RYA has released new Guidance for Clubs and Recognised Training Centres (RTCs) regarding the control of Legionella bacteria. The Guidance, COVID-19 Clubs and the control of Legionella’s Disease covers areas such as the key facts about the Legionella bacteria, recommended control measures that clubs/RTCs should implement, as well as the symptoms of Legionnaires' disease. 

The Guidance comes as boaters are beginning to return to the water and many clubs/RTCs are beginning to put into practice their Coronavirus prevention measures. Due to the recent Coronavirus lock-down restrictions, the water facilities of many uninhabited buildings may have become stagnant and therefore prime breeding ground for Legionella bacteria to thrive.  

One of the recommended measures in the Guidance for controlling the spread of Legionella bacteria is ensuring that clubs thoroughly flush through water systems, including outdoor facilities, 2-3 days before re-occupation commences. This will assist in making sure that the water in the pipes and tanks is not stagnate and will help in preventing the Legionella bacteria from growing. 

Mandy Peters, RYA Legal Manager said: “During this time, when many sailing clubs and RTCs have been closed, water facilities in those buildings will have also become dormant. It is important that during the phased return period procedures such as flushing and purging all water outlets and following good water system hygiene management is not overlooked.”

“It is hoped that many of the recommended measures listed in the COVID-19 Clubs and the control of Legionella’s Disease Guidance will be taken on-board by clubs/RTCs and if they do not already do so, will hopefully add the actions to their current regular health and safety checks.” 

If your club/RTC has any queries or questions regarding controlling Legionella, or require further guidance on another legal matter, then please contact the Legal Team via email legal@rya.org.uk or call 023 8060 4223.

Further COVID-19 advice for clubs, Classes and RTCs, as well as recreational boating in the UK and abroad, can be found on the RYA website.