Look after the water system in your home to prevent possible illness such as Legionnaires' disease.
What is Legionnaires' disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia that can be fatal. You can get it if you inhale water droplets contaminated by Legionella bacteria.
It is rarely a problem at home as most households do not store large volumes of water where Legionella bacteria can grow.
Legionella bacteria are safe in very small quantities. However, they can grow to an unsafe level if water systems are not looked after. They live in water and soil and can sometimes enter a home's water system.
Higher risk groups
Some people may be more vulnerable to Legionnaires' disease.
- over 45s
- smokers and heavy drinkers
and those suffering from:
- chronic respiratory disease
- kidney disease
- lung or heart disease
- an impaired immune system
Tips to prevent growth of Legionnaire bacteria
Make sure hot water is hot and cold water is cold and water systems are flushed through regularly.
- set your boiler or water heating system to around 60° C - it should feel hot to the touch but not scalding
- ensure your cold water comes out cold
- run showers for at least two minutes a week to flush them out. Don’t forget to keep clear of the water flow whilst doing this
- use all taps at least once per week to prevent water standing in the pipes
- descale and disinfect shower heads at least every three months
If you've been away for more than a week, run all your taps for a few minutes before using the water. Also run the water in the shower - remove the shower head beforehand so water droplets are not created. If you cannot remove it cover it with a towel while you run the water.
The likelihood of contracting illness such as Legionnaires' disease is very low, however, it can be fatal.
When to contact us
- If the cold water tap is still running warm after you have run the tap for one minute. It should not be above 20°C.
- there are problems with water flow, debris or discolouration in the water and your water supplier is not working on the mains in the area.
- the boiler or hot water tank is faulty, so that the water is not hot enough. Hot water should be 50°C after the tap has run for one minute, this will feel hot to touch but not scalding.
Please email: email@example.com or call 0330 119 3000
View our Legionella Policy