We have received a large number of enquiries on our website customer service chat the last few weeks regarding the potential risk of Legionella in Hose pipes, outdoor taps and what advice we can offer.
The humble hosepipe can sometimes harbour harmful levels of Legionella if not looked after and used properly.
Legionellsafe Services offer Expertise in all sectors, from care homes to education to local authorities, as well as domestic property and with the number of noticible enquiries from homeowners, We want to give you some handy tips and hints to keep you, and your hosepipes and outdoor taps safe.
What is Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a rare form of pneumonia; we call it an atypical type of pneumonia because along with respiratory symptoms people infected often become very ill, very quickly. They may also get symptoms of diarrhoea and sometimes confusion too. It also does not respond to the normal type of antibiotics given for pneumonia.
How do you get it?
The usual route of infection is from inhalation of water droplets (less than 5 microns). These droplets can come from all forms of water applications including turning on a shower, tap, flushing a toilet, or using a spa pool, hot tub or other activities which cause am aerosol of water – such as a hosepipe.
Here are some simple tips to keep you safe:
- Legionella likes to grow in water (and sometimes potting composts) in nice warm conditions i.e. over 20 °C and below 50 °C. It needs nutrients and in particular likes to grow on wet surfaces in a slime layer.
- It’s not practical to attempt to drain a hosepipe after every use but keeping it somewhere cool and out of the sun will help to reduce the risk of the bacteria thriving in your hosepipe.
- Because its main route of infection is by people inhaling aerosols formed from a spray, when you come to use the hosepipe again just gently run the water out of the hose – without any form of spray attachment on the end.
- Don’t use a hosepipe that has been sitting around and full of warm water to fill a hot tub – the warm water within the tub will allow any bacteria – including Legionella – to quickly grow.
- Run your outdoor tap(s) slowly, to avoid creating an aerosol spray, for a period of 2 minutes to ensure any stagnant water is cleared.