Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit

A guide to making a commercial property’s water system safe, during periods of low occupancy

It’s likely to be in breach of law to simply occupy a building that’s operating at low occupancy or has stood idle. Building Managers need to conduct a Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit and recommission their water systems.

To read HSE guidance on what you must do, click here.

Alternatively, read our guide below.


Why is it so important to audit water hygiene, at times of low occupancy?

Low Occupancy Property - Water Hygiene Audit

Because Legionella bacteria may now be lurking in water systems!

It’s vital that we audit water systems now because water usage has been so significantly reduced in commercial properties.

And in addition to Legionella risk, drinking water retained within buildings may no longer be potable following a period of prolonged stagnation.


If duty-holders haven’t put a proper recommissioning process in place for their water system, they should not open their building.


Which type of property is most at risk?

A) Properties with static water systems that have been empty or at low occupancy

B) Buildings that have been subject to a flushing regime that does not represent normal usage


Making a property’s water system safe during low occupancy


  • Before allowing people to work in a building during periods of low occupancy, Facilities Managers should formulate a written scheme plan for each water system. This will allow for safe use and offer assurance to water users.
  • It’s important that any plan to use a water system must also take into account the safety of the operatives carrying out the work. This is because the hazards present within water systems will be greater than normally expected.  Therefore, reasonably practicable measures such as limiting aerosol, minimising exposure and use of RPE should be considered.


A guide to commissioning water systems, during low occupancy

Procedure for Hot and Cold Water Systems

Here we describe a procedure for commissioning hot and cold water systems inline with HSE legionella guidance during Coronavirus.

Check your Legionella or Water Hygiene Risk Assessment and Written Scheme of Control and follow the advice from these documents.

In the absence of the above, or if the written scheme of control has not been adhered to during low occupancy or lockdown, complete the following:

  1. Flush all cold and hot water outlets thoroughly before use. This should be done as close to occupation as possible to minimise the possibility of microbial growth.
  2. Re-check all water heaters, cistern type water heaters, calorifiers flow and return temperature (if fitted). Make sure that: All are operating at a suitable temperature; that all pumps are operational; and that hot water circulation on bigger systems is sufficient.
  3. Ensure that the hot water outlets achieve a temperature of minimum 50C within one minute of flushing
  4. Verify that the cold water outlets achieve a temperature below 20C within two minutes of flushing
  5. Inspect major plant like water tanks, establish if the system requires disinfection and complete one if necessary
  6. Check operation of the taps, showers and TMV valves
  7. Record the completion of the task in your log book
  8. Provide evidence and reassurance that the system is safe to use, validation sampling should be considered. Legionella samples should be taken from the representative number of outlets. TVC analysis of drinking water would also provide good data about water quality.


Plan for low-occupancy and act on water safety now

Time is of the essence. HSE advises that getting specialist help may be necessary. It warns that if you’re unable to appoint someone with the appropriate competence to oversee the risk controls of water systems, you must consider stopping the operation of the systems.


Water Sampling

Order Now:

Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit

RM are now offering an affordable Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit for properties across the UK for £475.00+VAT.



What’s included in our Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit?


Low occupancy Water Hygiene Audit1. Risk Audit, Record & Recommendation
  • RM will visit site to action the above procedure for hot and cold water systems, on your behalf.
  • We will collect water samples* (minimum 5 from each site) and test them at our partner UKAS laboratory.
  • RM will then provide clients with a PDF copy of the Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit document. This report will highlight existing control measures and will recommend additional controls that duty holders need to put in place before restarting work.
  • Along with the report, you will also receive confirmation of our flushing and validation certificates for the water analysis.

This means that duty holders & managers can assure their staff, contractors, customers and authorities that they’ve done everything reasonably practicable to ensure safety from the threat of Legionella and other water hygiene risks during periods of low occupancy.


Web application for managing property risk2. Access to HASAD Web Application

After the audit, there is sometimes a need for duty holders to assign tasks and manage actions with their team. RM gives their clients free access to an easy to use cloud based app called HASAD, to help with this. HASAD or (Health And Safety Advisory Database) can be used to manage risk across multiple users and properties meaning it’s easy to keep track of things.


Qualified Auditors3. Additional Support

RM offers one hour’s consultancy support with each audit. This means that our team are there to answer any questions that may arise and support you in achieving peace of mind.



How to Book a Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit’

  1. To book a Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit for a property, you should contact RM with property details and obtain a quote.
  2. Upon purchase order, the RM Scheduling team will make contact to book a suitable date for access.
  3. We will then send a competent Water Hygiene Risk Auditor to site, to visibly inspect the workplace and assist in the recommissioning of the water system, whilst engaging with duty holders.


Limited slots available

We have limited slots available for our Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit service so book now. We currently have  Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audits booked in Birmingham, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, London and Manchester and booking in these areas may qualify for discounted rates.


To book a site visit now and secure this Quick, Easy, Affordable & Independent  Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit or to enquire about RM’s COVID-19, fire safetyhealth & safetywater hygiene and asbestos assessment services, please call us on 01212360642 or send us a message by clicking here.


RM RISK MANAGEMENT – Making properties safe during the coronavirus

*5 samples included in the service. Sometimes on larger buildings, additional samples will be necessary. For these sites, we will charge an additional £50.00+VAT per sample.



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