What is Legionella?Legionella bacteria is naturally found in our environment i.e. in ponds, rivers, reservoirs and streams.
Legionella groups (known as sero groups) are natural inhabitants of water and require an air-water correlation (aerated biofilms) on surface waters.
Interacting with other micro-organisms found in the environment, Legionella will use such opportunities to grow and survive.
Using bacterial hosts called protozoans Legionella will infect and quickly replicate until the protozoan overwhelm and bursts to contaminate the water source further.
Legionella grows well in warm motionless water, conditions like this are found in Water Cisterns, Plumbing Fixtures, Whirlpool Spas, Hot Water Heaters, Fountains, Air Washers, Mist Machines, Evaporative Condensers and Cooling Towers.
Legionella thrives in waters of a temperature band of 20°c-60°c.
Below 20°c Legionella will remain dormant (i.e. will not proliferate) and above 60°c Legionella will be destroyed.
Why is Legionella such a Health Risk?
How do people contract Legionella?Legionella is a disease that attacks the lungs. It is usually contracted by inhalation of fine water droplets (mist) suspended in the air. It cannot be contracted from person to person, however there are categories of people who are more at risk from contracting Legionella.
Smokers and drinkers.
People with impaired immune systems.
People over the age of 45.
People suffering from chronic respiratory problems, Kidney Disease, Diabetes, Lung and Heart Disease.
Men are 3 times more likely to contract Legionella than Women
How can I protect my property and its occupance from Legionella?There is no reason to panic, however Legionella disease is a very real health risk. The Government (The Health and Safety Executive), set out an Approved Code of Practice called L8 Legionnaires Disease, The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems to assist those with a duty of care to manage any risk.
Please see the Documents page to download PDF's (free of charge) of all relevant Legal Documents and Guidances.