Legionnella Prevention – Tips For Landlords
Legionella is a highly dangerous bacterium that can cause the potentially fatal lung disease, Legionnaire’s disease. The airborne bacteria live in water and are distributed through showers and spray taps where they are inhaled by users, triggering the infection.
As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that your tenants are not at risk of Legionella bacteria in their domestic water supply. Here’s a simple guide to keeping your tenants’ water clean and safe to use.
Cold Water Tank Inspection
You must inspect all cold water storage tanks in your properties at least annually. If the tank contains significant amounts of sediment, dirt, or rust, you should clean it. If the tank is very badly corroded, you should consider having it replaced with a new plastic one.
Drain The Cold Water Tank
Turn the water off at the mains stopcock and open all the cold water taps. This will empty all the water from the tank.
Clean The Tank Thoroughly
Put on some thick rubber gloves to protect your hands and give the inside of the tank a thorough scrub, making sure that you get right into the corners. Use a household de-scaler to remove limescale and a solution of dilute household bleach to wash out the tank. Rinse the tank thoroughly with clean water.
Fill The Tank
When the tank is clean, turn off all the cold taps in the house and then refill the tank by opening the stopcock tap. Put the lid back onto the tank so prevent any overhead debris dust from contaminating the tank.
Check The Hot Water Temperature
Legionella bacteria proliferate in cold water up to a temperature of about 45°C. You can ensure that your tenant’s water is safe by testing the temperature of the hot water, especially in showers and spray taps. If the hot water temperature fails to reach 45°C, adjust your boiler or water heater accordingly and re-test the taps.
Protect Yourself And Your Tenants
As a private landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that your tenants have access to clean, safe water. To prevent the risk of legionella bacteria, you must clean your cold water tank annually and test the temperature of the water coming from the hot taps in the house. Legionella bacteria prefer a dirty tank with lots of sediment or corrosion present. To find out more about replacing your old metal tanks, contact us to have a chat with our helpful team today.