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Are you ready for the regs?

As of 1 September, the active ingredients in the biocides used to treat legionella and other pathogens in HVAC systems must be registered under the Biocidal Products Regulations. Steven Booth explains

The Biocidal Product Regulations (BPR) are a European-wide legislation designed to ensure that biocidal products are assessed for their safety with regards to people, animals and the environment, before they are made available on the market.

From 1 September only biocides whose active ingredients have been included on the Article 95 list will be available to use legally.

The suppliers of these products must also make sure their supply chain is compliant.

The BPR covers 23 different product types, such as disinfectants, preservatives, pest-control and anti-fouling substances, including biocides used for the prevention and treatment of legionella pseudomonas and other bacteria found in cooling and process water systems.

Legionella is, of course,  a key concern for the rac sector, with wet air conditioning plant a particular culprit.

High-profile cases of Legionnaire’s Disease are never far from the news, with those responsible liable to fines and damaged reputations; the unfortunate victims of the disease may lose their life in extreme cases.

In order to comply with the Approved Code of Practice for the Control of Legionella (better known as ACOP L8) HVAC systems must be assessed for the legionella risk and adequate measures put in place.

The primary method of controlling the growth of legionella bacteria is either by temperature control, or with chemical dosing – including the biocides covered by the BPR.

There are non-chemical alternatives to water treatment, of course, allowing organisations to reduce their reliance on these potentially hazardous substances. Whether approved under the BPR or not, chemicals are chemicals, the less we use of them, the better for the health of individuals and the environment.

Photocatalytic water purifiers greatly reduce bacterial levels in the water, without the use of biocides, inspired by nature’s own way of purifying water.

A specific frequency of light and photocatalytic surfaces are used to create free radicals that break down harmful micro-organisms and other pollutants in water.

The highly reactive free radicals instantaneously break down harmful microorganisms and other pollutants. They are short-lived and exist for only a few milliseconds, which means they have no possibility of affecting water quality or causing harm to the environment.

On the list

Anyone who carries out legionella prevention and water treatment, either in-house or on behalf or clients must make sure that the biocide products being used are on the BPR list.

From the suppliers’ point of view, compliance is a costly process, so it’s worth checking that the company supply chain has met the September deadline.

Anyone who uses an external water treatment provider should ask them about the BPR and thereby ensure that the biocides they use are on the list too.

Needless to say, we only use products and suppliers that comply with the BPR.

While not a solution for every system, non-chemical alternatives to legionella water treatment should be considered to reduce the reliance on toxic substances.

Used on their own, or in conjunction with traditional chemical dosing, they present a more sustainable and cost-effective approach to keeping water clean and pathogen-free.

Guardian can assess water systems to see if they are suitable for our own non-chemical solution, Wallenius Advanced Oxygenation Technology (AOT). AOT provides a safe and cost-effective option for controlling bacterial growth, minimising environmental impact by reducing chemical usage.   

Steven Booth is associate director at Guardian Water Treatment

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