Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia, contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing viable Legionella bacteria. One of the ways droplets like this can be created is through hot and cold water outlets (taps / shower heads etc.). In certain conditions the bacteria may multiply where temperatures are between 20-45°C.
Anyone can develop Legionnaires’ disease, but the elderly, smokers, alcoholics and those with illnesses such as cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory or kidney disease are at more risk.
To reduce the risk of bacteria being able to grow in your hot and cold water systems, please ensure than the water outlets are used regularly.
Where there are outlets that are not in use regularly, weekly flushing of these devices for several minutes can significantly reduce the risk at that outlet.
Reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease
Take a look at some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of this potentially fatal bacteria growing in your hot and cold water systems at home.
- Make sure both hot and cold water outlets (taps, showers, toilets etc) are used regularly
- Where they are not in regular use, flush the toilet or run the tap for several minutes each week
- When you first move into a property, make sure to run the water in the taps and shower for a few minutes to clear the system, and flush the toilet
- You should regularly clean and disinfect shower heads to avoid a build-up of bacteria