Legionella bacteria are common in rivers and lakes - as well as artificial water systems such as storage tanks and pipework.
Legionella is usually found in larger water systems but it can live in smaller water-supply systems used in homes.
Legionella bacteria can survive at low temperatures, but develop quickly at temperatures between 20°C and 45°C. High temperatures over 60°C will kill them.
Legionnaires disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by legionella bacteria.
It can affect anyone but some people are at higher risk. This includes:
- people over 45
- smokers and heavy drinkers
- people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease
- people whose immune system has been weakened
The technical services team are assessing all the different water systems in tenants' homes. Any areas where there is an unacceptably high risk will be included on our programmes of repair work.
You can help to keep levels of bacteria in water systems low by following a few simple steps:
- When you go away for a week or more, run the kitchen and bathroom taps for 10 minutes when you return.
- Make sure that lids are on water tanks in the loft, and that the tank is insulated.
- Regularly use all the taps inside and outside your home (both hot and cold).