Top tips on water safety at home | Tenant news

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Top tips on water safety at home

Did you know that the legionella bacteria develop and multiply in water when temperatures are between 20 to 40 degrees but are in inactive below 20 degrees and will not survive above 60 degrees?

Legionella is a waterborne bacterium that can be present in large, stored water systems, such as those in water towers, hospitals and blocks of flats. The bacteria can also be found in the domestic water tanks, though the risk is minimal.

Health risks

Legionella leads to Legionaires’ disease, which is a serious form of pneumonia.

Anyone can be affected by it, but older adults, heavy smokers and people with suppressed immune systems are more at risk.

While we regularly assess and carry out maintenance on communal water systems in your homes, there are easy things you can also do to help maintain good water hygiene.

Maintaining water hygiene

  • Run your taps weekly for at least five minutes if you’re away from your home for a week or more.
  • Make sure your showerheads, shower hoses and taps are kept clean and free from limescale.
  • Ensure all thermostats on stored hot water cylinders or tanks are set to 60 degrees or above.
  • If your water has a strange smell, get in touch with your water provider. You can find who your provider is at and use the postcode search option.

Don’t flush wipes

If you use wet wipes, please don’t flush them down the toilet, even if the product says they’re ‘fine to flush’ or ‘flushable’. Dispose of them responsibly by putting them in the bin.

Wet wipes contribute to 94% of sewer blockages, which water companies spend £10 million each year dealing with this issue. Wet wipes, along with other sanitary products flushed down the toilet, combine with cooking fats and oils to cause sewer-blocking fatbergs. A fatberg the size of a double-decker bus was found in an east London sewer in May this year. Check out the story.

Many wet wipe brands contain plastic fibres that can’t be broken down like loo paper can, and they end up causing environmental harm.

The only thing that should go down the loo is human waste and toilet paper.

From the end of 2024, the government is introducing a ban on sale of wet wipes containing plastic.

If you have a question about your water supply, please contact your local water supplier.

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