Legionnaires’ disease is a pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria. It is easily preventable by putting in place some simple control measures. The information below will help you identify any potential problems.

How does infection spread?

All hot and cold water systems in residential properties are a potential source for legionella bacteria growth. Infection is spread by breathing in small water droplets contaminated with bacteria.

Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold water systems. They thrive at temperatures between 20 – 45°C.

They are unable to survive in high temperatures, at 60°C or above, or in low temperatures, below 20°C.

Who is most vulnerable to infection?

Legionnaire’s disease most commonly affects the elderly, or people with chest or lung problems. Not everyone exposed to legionella bacteria becomes ill. Legionnaire’s disease is not contagious, and you cannot get it from drinking water.

What can I do to avoid the spread of bacteria?

The chance of Legionella existing in domestic water systems is very low due to regular water use, but there are steps that you can take to reduce it further:

  • Use taps and shower regularly.
  • Clean the shower heads regularly.
  • Ensure hot and cold water are at the right temperature. Find out more about hot and cold water systems on the HSE website.

Please let us know straight away if:

  • Your boiler or hot water tank are not working properly, especially if your water is not heating properly. It should be above 50°C after running for at least a minute.
  • Your cold water is still running warm after you have run off any water which may have built up in the pipes. It should not be above 20°C.
  • You notice any debris or discolouration in the water.

If your property is empty for any length of time, it is a good idea to flush both hot and cold water systems when you return. This can be done by running all outlets for at least 2 minutes.

What is A2Dominion doing to ensure my water is safe?

We regularly assess the risk from exposure to Legionella to ensure the safety of our customers. We’ve also put a number of measures in place to identify, manage and/or mitigate risks associated with hot and cold water systems that may cause exposure to legionella bacteria.

We will:

  • Identify and assess sources of risk by ensuring a risk assessment is carried out on all properties we own.
  • Make sure that the right precautions are undertaken to reduce the risks of exposure to legionella.
  • Manage any identified risk by ensuring that a pre-planned proactive maintenance regime is undertaken.

We have created a Water Hygiene Management Plan which meets the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management Regulations).

Please contact us if you would like further information or to request a copy of our Water Hygiene Management Plan.

How can I avoid the risk of scalding?

There is a risk of scalding where water comes out of taps at temperatures above 44°C.

To reduce this risk, thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) can be fitted to make sure the water temperature never goes above a dangerous level. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also recommends the use of instant water heaters where the temperature can be restricted and cannot rise too high.

If you feel that you or another member of your household may be at risk please contact us.