We follow a Health and Safety Executive Approved Code of Practice, carrying out regular inspection and water safety testing of shared water systems, in blocks of flats. In individual homes, the risk from legionella is very slight.
What is legionella?
Legionella is a bacterium which can grow in stored or stagnant water, under certain conditions.
Why is it dangerous?
Inhalation of infected spray or droplets of water vapour can result in Legionnaire’s disease. This is a pneumonia which may be mild and flu-like, but can be more serious, and sometimes fatal. Early treatment with the correct antibiotics is effective in most cases.
What can I do in my home to help eliminate the risk?
It is unlikely that you will be at risk from legionella bacteria in your home water system. Mains supply water is treated by the water companies, so contamination has to occur between the water plant and your home. Renewal of stored water in cylinders or tanks is frequent in occupied homes, so bacteria do not have the opportunity to grow. However, the following precautions are advisable:
- Ensure all water storage tanks have tightly-fitting covers in place
- Regularly descale taps, shower heads and hoses
- Ensure all thermostats on stored hot water cylinders are set to 60° C or above.
- If you leave your home for a long period of time, drain off and refill any stored water tanks when you return, before first use.
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