Having clean water in your home is vital to your health and wellbeing. Most water systems contain bacteria, including the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease, a kind of pneumonia. It can affect anybody, but the risk to your health is extremely low. You will be more at risk if your immune system is low. This information is intended only as a general reference and not as a complete guide.
What do Derby Homes do?
We aim to meet the highest standard of water hygiene in our properties by carrying out water hygiene checks in the homes we manage. We employ a specialist contractor who does a simple check to reduce the risk of any bacteria in your home. This is usually carried out when we do any major work in your home, such as replacing a kitchen, bathroom or gas heating system.
There are a few simple steps you can take to keep your water supply clean and healthy.
- Clean your shower and taps of scale and debris every three to six months, or earlier if there is lime scale
- If you have an electric hot-water tank, fully heat the water to 60˚C at least two to three times per week
- If you have an outside tap, remove your hose after use
If you've been away for several days
The water in your system can deteriorate if unused for a week or more. If you return to your home after some time away, it's a good idea to clear your system of old water.
- Run all the taps for 3-5 minutes
- Flush your shower without creating droplets. Put a plastic over the shower head and switch it on. Allow the bag to fill and then gently pour it away.
- Flush the toilet twice with the lid down. This will circulate fresh water through the system and empty the cistern.
Information for leaseholders
If you are a leaseholder, you have a legal responsibility to conduct a risk assessment and review it when you make changes to the water systems in your home. You can conduct the risk assessment yourself if you have sufficient understanding of water systems.
Sub-letting your leasehold property
If you sub-let your property, you are still responsible for the risk assessment and for providing advice to your tenant. You must review the risk assessment upon each change of tenancy and if there are changes to the water systems. It is not essential to have the risk assessment documented if, in the event of a problem, you are able to describe to the Health and Safety Executive how the risks were assessed. However, it is advisable to provide a document if you sub-let the property.