Go to homepage
Login to MyPlace

Water Hygiene (Legionella) and safety

As your landlord, Great Places has a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella is properly assessed and controlled. We are committed to working alongside our tenants to ensure you are protected from Legionnaires’ disease.

What is Legionnaires’ disease?

Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by Legionella bacteria including the most serious, Legionnaires’ disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever.

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. The risk increases with age, but some people are at higher risk, including people over 45; smokers and heavy drinkers; those suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease, diabetes, lung and heart disease; or anyone with an impaired immune system.

How do people get Legionnaires’ disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by inhaling a small water droplet which can be suspended in the air, known as aerosols. Aerosols containing the legionella bacteria will pose a risk to susceptible individuals, infection is linked to susceptibility.

Certain conditions increase the risk from legionella:

a) The water temperature in all or some parts of the system is between 20-45 °C, which is suitable for growth.
b) It is possible for water droplets to be produced and therefore be dispersed.
c) Water is stored and/or re-circulate.
d) There are deposits that can support bacterial growth, such as rust, sludge, scale, organic matter and biofilms.

How can you manage legionella?

Hot water should be stored at least at 60°C and distributed so that it reaches a temperature of 50°C within one minute at the outlets. Your hot water cylinders or boilers have been set to the correct temperatures – please do not alter the temperatures or turn of the equipment.

  • Cold water systems should be maintained, where possible, at a temperature of below 20°C
  • Regular movement of water is essential to the control of legionella bacteria within a water system. It is therefore important to ensure all known outlets that are not used or those that are not used regularly are flushed on a weekly basis. Outlets should be flushed for several minutes to ensure the entire length of pipework has been cleared of any standing water. When performing flushing, please take care to minimise the amount of aerosols being produced, especially when performing this on a shower
  • When returning to your property from a prolonged period of absence (such as a holiday), please follow the above instructions and flush all outlets.
  • Clean and descale your showerhead at least every three months.

If you have any concerns or require any additional advice regarding water hygiene please call our contact centre on 0300 123 1966.