Useful tips to avoid contamination with legionella

Summer holiday is over, the schools have reopened, the roads are filling up with traffic again. Thinking back on the holiday when coming home, did you realise that you hadn’t used your taps for a while and which dangers that entails? A lot of people still don’t realise that the chance of contamination with legionella is at its highest level then. In this blog we present you a number of useful tips you can apply next time you come home from that wonderful vacation!


How and where legionella develops?


Still water at a temperature higher than 25 degrees Celsius, that combination is a perfect feeding ground for the legionella bacteria to copy itself at a high pace. The water in your pipes is vulnerable, because the water isn’t moving during your holiday and the temperature of the pipe system can rise quickly during summer. Furthermore, still water that is open to the sun, for example in a bucket, swimming pool or garden hose has a higher risk. Especially a garden hose or plant sprayer are hazardous as breathing in water spray (tiny drops of water) causes the contamination.    


What can you do to minimise the risk of contamination?


It’s a well known fact that it’s wise to let the water in your pipes flow for some time when you come back from holiday, so you’re sure that the next time you use it you have good quality water coming out of the faucets. With that you flush away harmful substances like metals, chalk and chlorine. But the most important thing after coming back from your holiday is removing possible legionella bacteria that have nestled in your pipe system. That way you avoid contamination when you breathe in water spray when you take your next shower. 


The most important practical tips to eliminate the risk of legionella:


  • Flush all cold- and warm water taps for at least 10 minutes as soon as you are back home. 
  • Make sure that water doesn’t turn into spray by using a bucket or removing the nozzle head of the faucet.
  • Are you able to set the water on a certain temperature, make sure the water has a minimum temperature of 55 degrees Celsius. The legionella bacteria won’t survive in water with this temperature.
  • Planning on working in the garden and you haven’t used the garden hose in a long time? Rinse the hose thoroughly first before spraying the garden. Also be careful for water spray here. 
  • Do you have a whirlpool, spa or jacuzzi at home, disinfect the installation according to the manual first before getting in again. Don’t forget that the installation has to be cleaned regularly to keep legionella as far away as possible.   


First and foremost these tips are meant for the moment you return from holiday. But we also recommend you carrying out these actions when you arrive at your holiday destination. Especially when you’re not sure how long the holiday residence hasn’t been used. 


Want to learn more about legionella and how you can deal with your taps and pipe system the best way possible? Contact Brouwer Installateur, we’re happy to tell you all about it!

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