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Legionella Prevention – Important advice for tenants

Water Hygiene

As your Landlord, we need to ensure you are aware of the possible causes and symptoms of Legionnaires' disease so you can identify any problems easily and report any concerns to us.

What is Legionnaires' disease?

Legionnaire’s disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, which can affect anybody. It is caused by the inhalation of small droplets of water from contaminated sources containing legionella bacteria.

Where is Legionella found?

All hot and cold water systems in residential properties are a potential source for legionella bacteria growth. The main areas of risk are where the bacteria can multiply e.g. in spray from showers and taps, even in pipes.

Conditions for legionella bacteria growth are where water of between 20oC and 45oC stagnates, and where there is sludge, rust and scale present for the bacteria to feed upon and multiply.

What precautions can I take?

  • From a safe distance, flush through showers and taps for 5 minutes following a period of non-use (i.e. when you move in, 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 (regular cleaning every 3 months will help sterilise and kill any bacteria).
  • Do not adjust the hot water on your boiler system at a temperature of 60oC or greater. Warning: Be aware of scalding!
  • Report any deposits such as rust or any unusual matter flowing from your water outlets.

Am I at risk?

There is no need for concern. Legionnaires' disease is easily preventable by putting in place some simple control measures. The council also undertakes regular assessments of our properties to identify any potential problems.

Further advice and information about Legionella and Legionnaires' disease can be found on the Health and Safety Executive website.