My landlord has had a Legionella Risk Assessment carried out at my property- what does this mean?
Legionnaires’ disease is a pneumonia-like illness caused by the legionella bacteria which thrives in bodies of water. Hot water systems, especially where the temperature of the water is such as to encourage growth of the bacteria, are a considerable legionella risk in residential properties where it is most commonly found in taps, showers, toilet cisterns, unused pipe work and hot and cold water tanks. The disease is caught by inhaling droplets of water that contain the bacteria such as water vapour from a contaminated shower head.
To limit the risk of Legionnaire's all landlords of residential properties must ensure that they have a current, compliant Legionella Risk Assessment carried out. This legislation previously only applied to commercial premises however revised legislation (The Approved Code of Practice -ACOP L8) makes clear that the only way to be sure the Landlord is complying with the law is to carry out a risk assessment and then follow any resulting recommendations.
Following a Risk Assessment being carried out there are further things you should do to limit the growth of legionella. If you are not going to be using the water in the property for an extended period of time (i.e if you go on holiday) you should make sure you run the taps for a few minutes before using them. It is also important to regularly thoroughly clean and descale taps and showerheads.
If you have any concerns about the risk of legionella please contact your landlord or Property Manager and for more information please refer to the official government website at: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg274part2.pdf
30th March 2017
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