What is legionella?
Find out more about how to prevent legionella. If you have any questions, please call us on 0300 1234 009.
Health and Safety legislation requires landlords like us to check water systems found in the home for legionella bacteria. The bacteria can cause a form of pneumonia called Legionnaires disease.
Because we are committed to protecting the welfare of our tenants and employees, the following guidance will help you prevent legionella occurring in your home.
- When you first move into your home, run the bath and hand basin taps continuously for at least five minutes. This will flush through any bacteria.
- If your shower has not been used for a week or more, run water from both hot and cold supplies through the shower hose and showerhead for two minutes. To ensure no spray escapes from the showerhead, run it through a bucket of water or full bath.
- If your shower has not been used for two weeks or more, disinfect the showerhead. The showerhead should be removed and the shower run for two minutes. The showerhead should be disinfected before being re-fitted by immersing for at least an hour in any solution designed for cleaning baby feeding bottles (e.g. Milton). Showerheads should be regularly disinfected about four times a year.
- Raise the temperature to 60°C or higher. Temperatures above 60°C will kill legionella bacteria so make sure that the temperature of the hot water in your boiler/cylinder is set at a minimum of 60°C. Beware of burns and scalding and take extra care if you have children. Legionella can survive in low temperatures, but thrive at temperatures between 20°C and 45°C.
- If your property has been empty for a while (e.g. after a holiday), flush the whole water system for two minutes or more. First flush your toilet, then let the kitchen taps and the hand basin taps run for two minutes or more to let both hot and cold water pass through. Next, flush the shower through as described above. Finally, let any other taps run for two minutes.
More information can be found in our legionella leaflet.