Water hygiene

image: Water hygiene in your homeWe want to ensure the water in your home is safe to use.

Maintaining good water hygiene in your home reduces the risk of contaminating yours and your neighbours’ water supply. 


What will we do to help?

We want your home to be safe, healthy and comfortable.  We'll:
  • Risk assess all properties on a rolling programme
  • Monitor water hygiene in blocks with shared systems
  • Carry out any repairs needed
  • Service thermostatic mixer valves (TMVs)
  • Give advice about caring for your water systems.

How can you help?

There are some things you can do to assist us:
  • Where you suspect there is a water hygiene issue, contact us as soon as possible so we can investigate
  • You should not attempt to fix or do DIY repairs to the water system
  • Do not remove any part of the system.
On a practical level, you can:
  • Run all unused taps (indoor and outdoor) for at least two minutes weekly
  • Clean and descale your taps and shower heads regularly to avoid build up of lime scale and bacteria
  • Leave your water heater and boiler on. Set the temperature of your water heater and boiler to above 60°C. It's important to prevent water sitting at temperatures between 25°C – 45°C as harmful bacteria may develop.
  • Report any repairs to Optivo.
  • If you’ve been away or you’ve just moved into a new home, run all the taps (including your shower) for at least two minutes before using them, to clear any sitting water.
If you have any concerns or questions about water hygiene, please contact us.

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Also in this section:

Why is water hygiene important?

Maintaining a hygienic water supply is important as it helps reduce the spread of waterborne diseases such as Legionella and Legionnaires' disease.

What is Legionella?

  • A type of bacteria found naturally in water
  • Usually develops in stagnant water between 25 °C – 45 °C
  • The bacteria in the water will increase daily if your taps are not turned on to allow a good turnover of water.

What is Legionnaires’ Disease?

  • Legionnaires’ Disease is a form of pneumonia affecting the lungs, caused by inhaling contaminated water droplets
  • Can be fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated
  • It can be diagnosed by blood test, urine samples or sputum sample
  • Anybody can be affected.  But some people are at higher risk, including:

    • People aged over 45
    • Smokers
    • Heavy drinkers
    • People suffering from chronic respiratory disease, kidney disease or weakened immune systems.