Legionella bacteria can grow in water systems where water has been left standing (stagnation). Your taps and showerheads can pass this disease onto you. Find out how to make sure your water is safe.
Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia, caused by Legionella bacteria. With 400-500 cases reported in the UK each year, the disease is quite rare. Anyone can catch it, but most sufferers tend to be over 50 years old.
Anyone with a weak immune system, an underlying condition or those who smoke or are heavy drinkers, are at greater risk. The bacteria won’t multiply in temperatures below 20°C and can’t survive above 60°C. Stagnant water stored between 20°C and 45°C provides the best breeding conditions.
Legionnaires’ disease comes from breathing in bacteria contained in small droplets of water, like spray from a shower or taps. It isn’t spread directly from person to person, and you can’t get it from drinking water.
Legionella bacteria can grow in water systems where water has been left standing (stagnation).
MAKE SURE THE WATER SYSTEM IS USED
Legionella bacteria can grow in water systems where there is a low turnover of water. Make sure all taps are used on a regular basis to make sure fresh water is pulled through the system by flushing.
FLUSHING THE SYSTEM
If areas of the water system aren’t used then flushing (running taps) once a week to remove potentially stagnant water can reduce the risk of bacterial growth within the system
Legionella bacteria loves limescale. Scale can act as a source of nutrition or provide an environment that may protect it from bleach or cleaning products.
DE-SCALING SHOWERHEAD AND HOSES
To keep your showerheads clean it is a good idea to descale them every three months. This can be done by immersing the head and hose in a suitable de-scaler solution or white vinegar. This will dissolve the limescale and reduce the potential for legionella bacteria to grow within your shower.
Good maintenance is important to minimise the risk
If the hot water isn’t hot enough or the cold water cold enough let us know. There may be a problem with the water system.
We’ll make repairs if necessary and ensure your water system is working correctly to reduce the risk of bacterial growth within the system.
We take every reasonable step to protect you and communicate effectively, but we also ask you to be aware of what you can do to stay safe.