As a responsible landlord, ensuring the safety and well-being of your tenants is paramount. One potential threat that often goes unnoticed is Legionella, a bacterium that can pose serious health risks if not properly managed. In this blog post, we'll delve into the basics of Legionella, understand why it's a concern, and outline essential steps for landlords to take in maintaining water safety within their properties. 
What is Legionella? 
Legionella is a type of bacteria commonly found in natural water sources. However, it becomes a concern when it proliferates in human-made water systems, such as hot tubs, air conditioning units, and plumbing networks. The bacteria thrives in warm water environments and, when aerosolised, can be inhaled, leading to Legionnaires' disease—a severe form of pneumonia. 
Why is it a Problem? 
Legionella poses a significant problem due to its potential to cause outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease. This illness can be particularly dangerous for individuals with weakened immune systems, the elderly, or those with underlying health conditions. Beyond the health implications, an outbreak can tarnish the reputation of your property, leading to legal and financial consequences. 
Landlord Responsibilities: What You Need to Do 
Conduct a Thorough Risk Assessment. 
Begin by conducting a comprehensive risk assessment of your property's water systems with GES Water. We will identify potential sources of Legionella growth and evaluate the risk level associated with each. 
Regular Maintenance is Key. 
Ensure routine maintenance of all water systems. Regularly clean and disinfect water tanks, pipes, and other components to prevent the buildup of Legionella. 
Temperature Control Measures. 
Maintain proper temperature levels in your water systems. Keep hot water temperatures above 50°C (122°F) and cold water temperatures below 20°C (68°F) to inhibit Legionella growth. 
Documentation is Crucial. 
Keep detailed records of all risk assessments, maintenance activities, and any corrective measures taken. Documentation not only helps in demonstrating compliance but also serves as a reference for future assessments. 
Tenant Education and Communication. 
Educate your tenants about the risks of Legionella and the importance of maintaining water safety. Encourage them to report any plumbing issues promptly and provide guidelines for proper water system usage. 
Consider Regular Testing. 
Periodic water testing for Legionella can provide additional assurance that your control measures are effective. It's a proactive step in identifying and addressing any potential issues before they escalate. 
Legionella may be an unseen threat, but as a landlord, you have the power to mitigate its risks and protect both your tenants and your property's reputation. By adhering to these guidelines and staying vigilant, you can contribute to creating a safe and healthy living environment for everyone. Remember, prevention is the key to ensuring that Legionella remains a concern of the past. 
You can read more here. 
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