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Managing water safety within your property

Water safety advice for domestic, commercial and independent living scheme tenants.

Maintaining water safety within your property is vital and the below information details steps you can take to ensure you are safe.

Most water systems contain bacteria and other organisms. If allowed to multiply they can cause people to become ill. The most common and high risk bacteria is Legionella, which causes Legionnaires Disease.

What is Legionnaires' disease?

Legionnares' disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which is caused by the legionella bacteria.

The bacteria are usually associated with larger water systems including hospitals, and cooling towers, but they can also thrive in smaller water systems used in residential accommodation.

Legionella bacteria can affect anyone, but those more likely to be susceptible are; people over the age of 50, heavy smokers and drinkers and people with an already suppressed immune system. Legionnaires disease is relatively rare with around 400 to 500 cases in the UK each year.

Legionella bacteria can be managed and we take pride in making sure we do all that we can to maintain water safety in our properties.

There are also several things you can do yourself, to reduce the risks from legionella bacteria.

If you live in an independent living scheme apartment

  1. When you first move into your independent living apartment you will need to run your shower for several minutes on the highest setting.
  2. If you go on holiday or are in hospital for more than one week, you must run all your water outlets* for several minutes as soon as you return.
  3. If you have any water outlets* that you do not use every week, please run these for several minutes every week.
  4. It is advisable that as a minimum shower heads should be cleaned and disinfected every six months.
  5. Report any concerns you may have to your scheme manager

If you live in one of our homes, independent living bungalows or rent a commercial property from us

  1. When you first move into your property, the Homesearch or Commercial Team will have flushed all available outlets.  If your property has an electric shower, you are required to flush** this yourself (on the highest temperature setting) once electricity is present in the property. All other hot water systems should be sufficiently heated before use.
  2. If you are on holiday or leave your property empty for more than one week you need to flush** all outlets for several minutes upon your return.
  3. If you have any outlets that you do not use every week (such as outside taps or outside bathrooms) these need to be flushed weekly.
  4. In commercial properties, outlet temperatures need to be taken monthly and recorded; this will be reviewed at your annual tenancy visit. Temperatures for mains cold water should be below 20oC after two minutes. Unregulated hot water temperatures should be above 50oC after one minute.
  5.  It is advisable that as a minumum shower heads should be cleaned and disinfected every six months.

If you have any concerns please contact OneCALL 0345 8 507 507.

* Outlet - a tap, shower or toilet. 

** Flush - turning your tap or shower on for several minutes.

Keywords

Garden safety ; Legionella ; Legionnaires Disease