Check out our handy video that explains what Legionella is and how you can prevent it building up in your home. You can check out more information further down the page.
Legionella is a bacteria which is found in water. It can lead to a serious lung infection know as Legionnaires' Disease, which is potentially fatal. The disease is usually caused by breathing in small droplets of contaminated water. It can be found in water systems in homes.
Where can you find Legionella?
All water systems are a potential source for Legionella bacteria growth. The main areas of risk are:
- Where an aerosol is created and water is spread e.g. showers, spray stap, hose etc.
- Water temperatures between 20-45 degrees C
- Non-moving water
- Little used taps, toilets, showers, hoses
- If there’s sediment, rust, or scale present
- Water tanks containing dirt and debris.
What you can do
Day to day hygiene of water outlets within your home will easily prevent issues from happening.
- Throw away any standing water in your home - don't let it grow mouldy or stagnant.
Taps and showers
- If you're away from your home for over a week, run the shower and all taps continuously for at least ten minutes. This will flush through any bacteria
- If your shower has not been used for two weeks or more, disinfect the showerhead.
- Routinely disinfect showerheads about four times a year
- Keep taps and showerheads clean from build-up of lime scale, mould, or algae
- Periodically change the shower head settings to flush water through all the different spray patterns.
- Flush toilets with the lid down.
- Drain hosepipes after you use them and keep them out of direct sunlight
- Make sure there’s no standing water in the hosepipes.
If you have Legionnaires' Disease-like symptoms
The symptoms of Legionella include flu like symptoms, a cough, difficulty breathing, chest pain and a high temperature. You should always seek medical advice if you feel you have any symptoms. If you are diagnosed with Legionnaires' Disease, let us know as soon as possible as so we can check and if necessary, treat your water system.
What we do
We'll carry out individual risk assessment of water systems in our sheltered and supported schemes every two years, and general risk assessments in all other homes, to manage and monitor the risk. We employ specialist water consultants to help us with this process.