Water hygiene

There is a risk of bacteria, like Legionella, growing in your water system but there are things you can do to reduce the risk.

How to reduce the risk of bacteria

Water temperature

The risk of Legionella bacteria growing increases in water systems between 20°C and 50°C. Below 20°C, the bacteria is inactive and stops growing. Above 50°C, it struggles to survive. Water above 50°C is a scalding risk.

So, keep your cold water cold and keep your hot water hot.

Clean taps and showerheads

Regularly clean and descale limescale from taps and showerheads.

Flush out infrequently used outlets

An infrequently used outlet is any water outlet that nobody has used for 7 days.

If you have been away from your home for 7 days or more:

  • run taps for about 5 minutes at a low flow to prevent creating water spray
  • remove shower heads and run at a high temperature for about 2 minutes
  • close toilet lids and flush toilet twice to circulate fresh water through the system
  • heat your hot water tank to above 60°C before you use it, if you switched it off

If you are going to be away from your home for 7 days or more and have a wet and dry toilet, like a Closomat, switch it off at the wall. This removes warm water from the cistern. When you return to your home, close the toilet lid and flush twice.

If you have a water butt, you will need to regularly drain and empty it to prevent water from becoming stagnant.

People at higher risk

Bacteria can affect everyone, but certain groups of people are at higher risk, including people:

  • over 50
  • with existing conditions that affect their breathing or their heart
  • being treated for cancer
  • with diabetes or kidney disease
  • with a weakened immune system

Water hygiene risk assessment

We will complete a domestic water hygiene risk assessment when needed.

If we find anything that needs repairing during the assessment, we will arrange a repair appointment with you.