Legionella is the name given to a type of bacteria that is sometimes found in water in the UK.
It is usually found in streams and rivers but sometimes it can end up in the water in your house.
Is it harmful?
Small amounts of it are not harmful.
It is only dangerous if the bacteria is allowed to grow.
If it grows and you breathe in water droplets containing the bacteria then it can make you very ill.
How can I keep my water safe?
We carry out checks to make sure your water is safe and you can do things to make it safe too.
Legionella grows best in water that is not too cold or not too hot.
It also grows when the water in your pipes and taps is stagnant. This means if you have not used your taps or shower in a while.
To keep your water safe:
- Set your hot water cylinder to above 60°C. If you do not know how to do this then please ask your support worker
- Clean your taps and shower as the bacteria can grow on rust and dirt
- If you have not been at home for over seven days then when you get back you should run all your taps and shower for a few minutes before drinking any water. This will make sure you get fresh and clean water in your pipes.
The chances of it being in your home are very small and you should not need to worry if you do these things.
For more information please speak to your support housing officer.