What is Legionella and Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionella is a bacteria found in natural water sources. Legionella bacteria can enter a person’s lungs through the air, when they breathe in small water droplets from a contaminated source. Legionella bacteria can then cause Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia, which can be fatal.
Legionella can sometimes find its way into human-made water systems. It will only become dangerous in these systems if conditions are right for the bacteria to grow. We take measures to ensure levels of legionella bacteria are controlled in our buildings but there are additional steps residents can take in their homes.
What does Notting Hill Genesis do to control Legionella bacteria?
We carry out risk assessments on the water systems in our buildings to make sure the water supply is safe. If these assessments identify a risk, we will either remove that risk or carry out a regular programme to control it. This could include regularly cleaning tanks and testing water samples.
What can I do to reduce the risk of Legionella in my home?
There are some measures you can take in your own home to reduce the risk of legionella.
- Regularly cleaning and de-scaling shower heads and taps to prevent the build-up of limescale, mould and algae growth.
- Flush any water outlets you do not use on a daily basis at least once a week. You flush them by carefully running the tap or shower for at least five minutes.
- Whenever you go on holiday or are away from your property for more than a week, run the taps and shower for at least five minutes before using them.
- If you have a garden hosepipe, make sure you drain it after use each time. Run it for five minutes before using it again and descale it regularly.
- Make sure your hot water cylinders are set at 60°C or above.
- Report anything unusual you spot in your water system to us.
When flushing any taps or showers, remember to do so in a way that means you do not breath in any water spray produced.