water hygiene | believe housing

Monday, 20 June

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water hygiene

It is important that the water supply in your house is looked after properly.

Homes are considered to be at very low risk of water borne problems such as legionella bacteria. But there are simple steps recommended that can be taken to reduce that risk even further.

Legionella is a bacteria which naturally occurs in water sources such as ponds and lakes. It can also live in the water systems of buildings in certain conditions. If allowed to grow the bacteria can cause illnesses such as Legionnaires’ disease, which is a serious lung infection.
Although anyone can contract Legionnaires’ disease some people are at higher risk. These include people aged over 45, smokers, heavy drinkers and people with underlying health conditions.

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

Simple steps to reduce risk

  • Make sure that taps and showers are regularly cleaned and kept free of debris and scale. Make sure that every water outlet that isn’t used on a weekly basis is opened and flushed through to ensure all the water in the building is kept moving. This includes all taps (including outside taps), showers, and toilets.
  • When returning from extended periods away from the home, make sure that all taps are run for several minutes.
  • If you notice ant debris or discolouration coming through the taps and showers report this to believe housing on 0300 1311 999.

In hot water

  • Don’t reduce your hot water temperature from the pre-set level. Keeping hot water at between 50C and 60C will kill any bacteria
    which may enter the system.
  • If you notice the hot water temperature drop unexpectedly report it to believe housing immediately on 0300 1311 999.

Tap hygiene

  • Legionella bacteria can’t grow in water below 20C, so it is important that your cold-water supply is kept cold.
  • If you have a bidet toilet, switch it off at the wall if you intend to be away from the property for more than one week. This is so warm water is not left in the cistern.
  • If you notice the cold water coming through your taps is warm report it to believe housing on 0300 1311 999.

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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