Telephone: 01983 761398

Legionella

Legionella

Legionella is a serious pathogenic disease – the bacteria are widespread in natural water systems such as rivers and ponds but conditions are rare to catch the disease from these sources. Outbreaks of the decease more often occur from exposure to legionella growing in purpose built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth but not hot enough to kill off the bacteria. 

Potential Exposure to Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ can be contracted by inhaling small droplets of water (aerosols) suspended in the air containing the bacteria. The following conditions can increase the risk from legionella if:

  • The water temperature in all or part of the system is between 20°C – 45°C, encouraging growth
  • Breathable water droplets are created and dispersed in the aerosol created by shower heads, taps and spa baths
  • Water is stored and/or re-circulated
  • There are deposits that can support bacterial growth providing a source of nutrients for the organism, such as rust, sludge and scale
  • You have infrequently used outlets or the system contains dead ends or unused pipe work,

Ways of Reducing the risk of Legionella

The risk of Legionella causing illness in domestic properties is low but the biggest risk is when you have been away from the property for a while or there are additional taps/showers/toilets that are not used daily. Good practice in this situation is to:

  • Run the hot water taps (a very unlikely source) for a minimum of 60 seconds
  • Flush shower heads for a minimum of 60 seconds by removing from its holder before turning on the shower and hold down over plughole to lessen the risk of inhaling sprayed droplets
  • Shower heads should be dismantled and cleaned of scale and debris every 3/6months
  • Keep the hot water on your boiler system at a temperature of minimum 50°C – 60°C
  • Flush the toilet twice to circulate fresh water through the system and empty the cistern

Phillips have access to qualified Legionella Risk Assessors and we can arrange a professional Risk Assessment for Legionella for all Residential and Commercial properties. The assessment takes about an hour for an average sized property and report.  During the assessment access to inspect the pipe-work, water system, boiler and measure the temperature of the water achieved at the taps and shower heads is required.

For further information on Legionella or to arrange an Assessment on your property        

Telephone 01983 761398 or E-mail:  for further information.

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