Back to Keeping you safe


Taking good care of your water

Prevention and safety from Legionnaire’s disease

What is Legionnaire’s disease?

Legionnaire’s disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, which can affect anyone. It is caused by breathing in small droplets of water that has the legionella bacteria in it.

Where is it found?

Legionella bacteria can be found in hot and cold-water systems around your home. The main areas of risk are where the bacteria can multiply and increase to dangerous levels and then spread. This can be in places such as your shower head, taps, or in your washing machine pipes.

You tend to find it where stagnant water is between 20ºC and 45ºC and where sludge or rust is present.

Who is at risk?

Legionnaire’s disease most commonly affects the elderly, or people with chest or lung problems, but it can affect anyone. Not everyone exposed to legionella bacteria becomes ill, it’s not contagious, and you can’t get it from drinking water. If you do contract it, the symptoms are like the flu.

How to prevent it

Taking the following simple precautions will help keep you safe:

  • Make sure you flush through showers and taps for 10 minutes if you haven’t used them for a while, perhaps after you’ve been on holiday or in hospital.
  • Keep all shower heads and taps clean and free from build-up of limescale, mould or algae. Using a chemical cleaner to sterilise them every three months will help kill any bacteria.
  • Keep the hot water in your boiler system at a temperature of 60ºC or higher, but be careful and be aware of scalding. If you have any problems with your hot water, please get in touch with us.
  • Report any deposits such as rust or any unusual matter flowing from your taps or showers.

For residents in communal schemes

Our residents who live in communal schemes or blocks of flats may have large water systems shared by everyone. In order to prevent the bacteria that causes legionnaires disease from building up, we routinely monitor and test water temperatures. Staff and contractors will often be seen in communal laundries, shower rooms and in attic spaces undertaking these tests to help keep residents safe.

We complete legionella risk assessments on all our homes and if you live in a house or flat without communal facilities, your home is very low risk.

We also undertake regular tests and inspections on lifts, automatic doors, dry risers and sprinklers in communal blocks and schemes, and many other regulatory items and adaptions.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

You might find these pages helpful