Tips for safe water in your home

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Shower with running water

Tips for safe water in your home

The glorious summer weather means we’re all drinking more water and taking more showers.

But do you know how to ensure the water in your home is safe for you to drink, wash and cook with?

The water supply to your home is perfectly safe, but if water is left stagnant in your pipes or it doesn’t get hot enough it can develop harmful bacteria called Legionella. If you inhale water droplets containing Legionella you could become seriously ill and even contract Legionnaires Disease, which is a severe form of pneumonia that can prove fatal.

But don’t worry, there are simple water safety steps you can take at home to prevent bacteria building up in your pipes or hot water tank. It’s easy to keep the water in your pipes circulating so it doesn’t sit stagnant. Follow our tips below to keep your water safe and limit the risks of any harmful bacteria building up:

  • When you move into a new property, or if your home has been empty for at least a week while you have been on holiday or in hospital always flush through the water system when you return. Simply flush the toilets and then run all the taps, bath and shower for five minutes before use. This will wash away any stagnant water sitting in the pipes. Be careful not to inhale any droplets while you’re running the water.
  • Are your taps working at the right temperature? If you’ve noticed that your hot water isn’t getting hot enough, or the water from your cold tap is coming out warm please let us know. We need to check the water temperature and that your boiler is working properly
  • Tell us if you notice any debris or discolouration in the water
  • If you have a shower, sink or toilet at home that is only used occasionally make sure you run water through the system for a few minutes every week. This means turning on the taps for a couple of minutes and flushing the toilet each week to wash away any stagnant water in the pipes
  • Don’t interfere with the settings on your boiler or hot water system. The thermostat needs to be set to heat water to 60°C
  • Keep your shower head and taps clean and sterilise and descale them at least once every six months. Remove shower heads and soak in sterilising tablets (the same as you would for baby bottles). You can buy limescale removers from supermarkets or make your own budget-busting, chemical-free de-scaler by mixing equal parts of distilled white vinegar and hot water. Soak the showerhead in the solution for several hours then run the shower water
  • If you have a garden hose tap turn it on at least once a week for a couple of minutes

For more safety tips and useful advice about your property please look in your Tenancy Handbook. If you have any questions or concerns about the water in your home or call 023 8083 3010.

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