Legionella is the name given to a group of bacteria that is found in most water sources including streams, rivers and lakes. It can sometimes enter domestic water systems.
Is it harmful?
Low concentrations are generally not harmful. It is only dangerous if the bacteria are allowed to grow in the right conditions. If you inhale water droplets that contain large amounts of the bacteria then they can cause a number of infections; most of these are not serious but one of them, Legionnaires Disease, is fatal in around 10% of cases.
What we do to keep your water safe
We carry out assessments on our water installations to assess the risk they pose and we put in place monitoring procedures.
What can you do?
The likelihood of Legionella being in your home is very unlikely but there are some things you can do to minimise the risk even further.
- Legionella grows best between 20 and 45°C so set your hot water cylinder to above 60°C. Regularly running your cold water tap should keep it below 20°C
- De-scale taps and showers as Legionella bacteria can grow on scale and rust
- Use taps once a week so you don’t have standing water in your pipes. If you have been on holiday for more than a week then run every tap for at least five minutes.
Read our Legionella leaflet to find out more about the risks it poses and how to keep safe.