What is Legionella?

Legionella are bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ disease. This is an uncommon disease similar to pneumonia. Legionella bacteria can live in hot and cold water systems within domestic properties. Contaminated bacteria can be released into the air in an aerosol form such as from the fine spray from running taps or showers. Please be aware that Legionnaires’ disease is extremely rare and the risk of infection is small.

What can you do about Legionella?

There are some things you can do to help minimise the risk of Legionella bacteria developing in your domestic water supply for example:

  • Prevent the build up of stagnant water by running all infrequently used outlets such as showers, hot and cold taps, outside taps and second toilets at least once a week. Run water very slowly for 1 minute and then on full power for 5 minutes to ensure any stagnant water lying in the pipework is cleared.
  • If a shower has not been used for a week or more, immerse the head of the shower in a basin or bath of water and turn on the shower letting the water run for 2-3 minutes.
  • If your hot water is supplied by a hot water cylinder, ensure the stored temperature of this is set to at least 60ºC. Do not turn off your hot water cylinder as this will cause the temperature to drop and bacteria will thrive, increasing the risk of Legionella.
  • If you have a cold water storage tank within your own house or flat, it is recommended that the temperature of the water in the tank should be less than 20ºC.

If you have any questions regarding Legionella or require any advice on preventative measures please contact the Asset Department on 01397 702530.