Your water system
What is Legionnaires' Disease?
Legionnaires' Disease is a pneumonia-like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria arising from taps and showers that are not used often. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another. You cannot usually get it from drinking water that contains the bacteria.
Legionella bacteria thrives at temperatures between 20-45°C if the conditions are right. Legionnaire’s disease is easily preventable by putting in place some simple control measures.
Most importantly, make sure that:
If you do not use your shower at least once a week, please flush them through by running them for at least two minutes every week.
Please clean the shower head regularly to descale and disinfect it at least once every 3 months.
If you have been on holiday or if a room is not in regular use please flush the water through the system weekly. You may need support from your family/ friends to do this if the property is left vacant. Please let your landlord know if the property has been left vacant for a period of time.
If you have outside taps / toilets these should be flushed regularly, similar to the advice relating to showers above. If you have hose-pipes connected to outside taps, please disconnect when not in use.
Although it is your landlord’s responsibility to take precautions to prevent Legionella being present in the hot or cold water system, residents also have an important part to play in taking these simple and practical precautions.
Where can I get more information?
You can obtain more information by visiting or contact your local housing office.