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Infection Control Resources

All items relating to infection control are available from this central page.

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Application to vary of a method of maintaining hospital warm water systems that is different to the method specified in regulation 20 of the Health (Legionella) Regulations 2001 - 21 February 2006

Mr John Dransfield, then National President of the IHEA made an application requesting that consideration be given to the approval of the Secretary to the Department of Human Services under regulation 24 of the Health
(Legionella) Regulations 2001 of a method of maintaining hospital warm water systems that is different to the method specified in regulation 20 of the Health (Legionella) Regulations 2001.

The above application was made in the light of current severe potable water shortages and water restrictions in Victoria, and the lack of recent evidence linking warm water systems to notifications of Legionnaires’
disease.

Regulation 5 of the Health (Legionella) Regulations 2001 defines a warm water system as a piped water system, including any thermostatic mixing valve, which is designed to supply water at between 30oC and 60oC.
Regulation 20 provides that all warm water system outlets that have not been in use for 7 days or more be flushed at full flow sufficient to remove all stagnant water leading to the outlet, and until the temperature at which the system is set is reached at the outlet.

In accordance with the instrument of delegation of the Secretary to the Department dated 21 February 2006, the following method has been approved for all hospital warm water systems in lieu of the method specified in regulation 20.

The previous delegation expired in March 2009 and been replaced with a new delegation dated 30 March 2009 that extended the approval to flush warm water systems at a frequency different to that required by the regulations.
The current approval lapses on 31 December 2009.

The proposed Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations are scheduled to commence on 1 January 2010 which will result in the current prescriptive regulations being replaced by a requirement to manage the risks associated with Legionella in certain premises including Health Care Facilities and Hospitals.  There is no requirement to flush outlets in the proposed regulations which are available at www.health.vic.gov.au/phwa

Download the approval letter here.


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