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The water supply killer

Recently if you are keeping up to date on property news you will of seen a lot talk about Legionnaires disease. The disease is a fatal form of pneumonia and is caused by inhalation of contaminated water. Its caused by bacteria and will develop in areas where water at a suitable temperature of 20-45C for the bacteria to flourish.
Legislation has been in place since 2001 and has been a legal requirement of landlords to make sure that water systems are checked and maintained to avoid the deadly bacteria growth. Unusually most landlords and agents are still unaware of the legislation and do not have assessment plan in place.
Fortunately, the checks can be done yourself and no cost for qualified individuals is required. There is no legal guidance on how often these checks must be completed but it is advisory that at minimum they should be complete annually in line with your gas safety checks.
When carrying out the checks yourself what you are looking for is you water system does not contain any points that water will become stagnant at any point in your water systems and they should be kept free flowing and it does not fall into the suitable temperature range to develop.
Here are some simple checks you can carry out to assess whether you are at risk:

  • Check storage tanks for your water if it is between 20-45C it can be of risk.

  • Check long pipes that are not sloped for appropriate water drainage to happen.

  • Check fittings and materials as certain types of materials will encourage the growth of the bacteria.

  • Always make sure that tanks and cisterns are covered at all times and are free from debris.

  • Keep a log of what you have checked and the date you last checked them to help manage your safety surveys.

As mentioned this is still a quite an unknown danger in properties that both tenants and landlords should be made aware of. Make sure tenants are aware that you will need to carry out safety checks for this problems and to notify you as soon as possible if there are any changes in the systems or heating of the home.
For further information, click the below link to access a help guide on the disease:

Government PDF Guide


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