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Legionella and water safety

Before you move into one of our homes we check them thoroughly for water safety.

However, if it’s been empty for more than a week, when you’ve been on holiday for instance, there’s a small risk that Legionella bacteria may have developed in the hot and cold water system.

Legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaire’s Disease, a form of pneumonia, which is potentially fatal. It occurs when droplets of water containing the bacteria are inhaled. For example in spray from showers and taps.

Although the risk of contracting Legionnaire’s Disease is really low, certain people are at a higher risk, these include:

  • People over the age of 45
  • Smokers and heavy drinkers
  • People with chronic respiratory or kidney disease
  • Anyone with an impaired immune system

Controlling Legionella within the home

Taking the following simple precautions will help keep you safe:

  • Flush through showers and taps for 10 minutes following a period of non-use (i.e. after you have been on holiday or if a room is not in regular use)
  • Keep all shower heads and taps clean and free from a build-up of lime scale, mould or algae growth. You should clean them every 3 to 6 months
  • Flush the toilet at last twice to circulate fresh water
  • Keep hot water on your boiler system at a temperature of 50°C or greater
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