water hygiene | believe housing

water hygiene

As a tenant you are responsible for the hygiene of the water system within your property.

The things we do around the home can affect water quality and even encourage bacteria growth.

Hot and cold water

  • If you have a back boiler in your home do not reduce this setting or the setting of your boiler thermostat, as bacteria can multiply at lower temperatures
  • If you have a combination boiler or multi-point water heater do not reduce the hot water thermostat setting
  • If you are away from home for long periods of time, the water in your system can deteriorate if unused; so when you return home, heat up your system to the normal temperature, open up each tap and run it for at least five minutes
  • Cold taps should be flushed until the water runs cold
  • When flushing taps and other outlets, open slowly and take care not to cause splashing or release a spray of droplets into the atmosphere.

Tap hygiene

  • Tap spouts on your bath, basin and sink may become contaminated from external sources. To be safe, sterilise tap spouts by wiping with a dilute bleach solution
  • If the tap is heavily scaled or contaminated this can be removed using a nylon brush.


  • If you have a shower fitted with a flexible hose make sure that a hose retaining ring is fitted to prevent the shower head falling into the bath water
  • Do not use rubber push-on shower hoses on your bath taps
  • Clean your shower head regularly using a nylon brush then soaking in bleach solution
  • Following a holiday or extended period of time, it is essential that the shower head be lowered into a bucket or plastic bag, allowing it to run to operating temperature, whilst taking care not to make or release spray droplets to the atmosphere.

Other fittings and appliances

  • If you have an outside tap fitted, the installation must comply with the water supply regulations and have a backflow prevention device, usually a double check valve
  • Any appliances you buy that are connected to the water supply must comply with water regulations
  • All domestic appliances, such as washing machines and dishwashers comply to the appropriate standards but many
    commercial appliances do not, and are not suitable for home use.
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