Legionnaires’ Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another.
Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold water systems. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 – 45°C if the conditions are right. They are killed by high temperatures at 60°C or above.
“Do I need to test my water system for Legionella?” Legionella testing is not a legal requirement in domestic water services. However, if you have a cooling tower, you will need to take Legionella samples and submit for testing on at least a quarterly basis.
“As a Letting Agent, do I need to get my property tested for legionella?” Landlords are under a duty to ensure that the risk of exposure to tenants, residents and visitors by Legionella is properly assessed and controlled. HSE emphasise that legionella testing/sampling is generally not required in domestic hot water systems and then only in exceptional circumstances.
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