Essentials out now!Bristan Essentials offers great value taps and showers, made brilliant.

21st February 2019

The news that a council in Essex has received a large fine for an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease at a leisure centre is the latest in a long line of cases that have plagued both the public and commercial sectors in recent years.



One of the main challenges in the delivery of water is to ensure that bacteria, such as legionella, is neutralised. It is essential to maintain a high-water temperature of 60°C or above, and all outlets must also be regularly flushed to prevent any internal build up.


When water temperatures are as high as 60°C, scalding becomes a very real concern. An effective way of maintaining and achieving the balance between high water temperature and infection control is to specify products with an in-built TMV (thermostatic mixing valve), or, alternatively, an ancillary TMV. This results in a safe water temperature of between 37°C and 46°C, depending on the application.


Maintenance is critical to ensure effective hygiene levels are met on a day-to-day basis. Fortunately, some products are available that can help managers can save time. For example, shower technology has developed in recent years to incorporate integrated isolation and hot flush mechanism that speed up the flushing process. Whereas a traditional shower could take anywhere up to an hour to flush, Bristan’s Opac Bar Shower takes just ten minutes, making infection control quick and easy.


It is estimated the average person's hands carry at least 3,000 different bacteria belonging to more than 100 species. So, it makes sense that non-touch, infrared technology can have a big impact on hygiene.

Infrared taps are available that detect human presence and switch on the water flow for a set amount of time. And infrared shower panels have an anti-microbial coating, which helps with cross-contamination as well as cleaning, keeping the surfaces safe for future users.

The public and private sector are increasingly required to conform to higher standards of hygiene and health and safety. It doesn’t matter if it is a leisure centre, a restaurant or a library, the challenges remain the same – to deliver safe, hot water and to put in place measures for effective infection control.
Thermostatic Mixing Valve

OPAC Bar Shower

Infrared tap
In December, Tendring District Council was fined £27,000 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a "catastrophic failure" at the Lifestyles leisure centre in Walton-on-the-Naze.

Meanwhile, a hotel in Norfolk was fined £50,000 last summer, after pleading guilty to exposing its guests to a risk of scalding in its hotel. An 86-year-old man was left with life-changing injuries after he was trapped in a bath with scalding water pouring in.

When it comes to water delivery, both these cases show the importance of specifying washroom products that address the ongoing issue of hygiene and hot water safety. The problem is that water delivery can be easily put on the backburner by specifiers in favour of more pressing concerns.

With bathroom technology moving forward all the time, here are our top tips to ensure that washroom environments are safe and fit for purpose.