Housing

Legionella

Wherever there is a water supply, there is the chance that Legionella bacteria are present.

Our approved contractors carry out regular checks on all our sheltered housing schemes and blocks of high rise flats located in Acomb, as these have communal water tanks:

  • Arncliffe House
  • Askrigg House
  • Aysgarth House
  • Bentham House
  • Buckden House
  • Gargrave House
  • Gisburn House
  • Ingleton House
  • Settle House
  • Slaidburn House
  • Wensley House

Legionella bacteria can cause pneumonia-like illnesses, including Legionnaires' Disease, which can be a fatal form of pneumonia.

Legionella cannot be caught by drinking contaminated water; to be harmful the bacteria needs to be inhaled. So, while the risk of contracting the Legionella bacteria is very rare, some people are at higher risk, including:

  • people over 45 years of age
  • smokers
  • people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease
  • anyone with an impaired immune system

Where Legionella bacteria are found

Legionella bacteria can be found in natural water sources like rivers, lakes and ponds.

They are also present in the artificial water systems in our homes and gardens such as:

  • hot and cold water systems
  • drinking water systems
  • storage tanks
  • pipes
  • baths, taps and showers
  • humidifiers
  • fire fighting sprinklers and hoses
  • garden hosepipes
  • lawn sprinklers or watering systems

Reduce Legionella risk

The risk of Legionella is small; however you should take the following actions in your home:

  • run your shower or bath continuously for a minimum of 5 minutes at least once a week - this may already happen when someone is bathing, but, if you mostly use one either the bath or shower, remember to run the other which is used less often
  • keep your water cistern covered, insulated, clean and free of debris
  • ensure that your pipe work is insulated and if not, ask us to do it for you
  • maintain hot water temperatures at a minimum of 55⁰C, but remember, while raising the temperature of the water can control Legionella growth, it also increases the risk of burns and scalds - please take care, especially if you have children

If you would like further advice, contact the Housing Capital Projects Team.

Further information

Visit the Health and Safety Executive website website for more information on Legionella.

Also see

Housing Capital Projects Team

Eco Depot, Hazel Court, York, YO10 3DS

Telephone: 01904 553711