Water safety


It’s important to make sure your water supply is safe to use. Here are some things you can do to reduce the risk of Legionnaire’s disease.

What is Legionnaire’s disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, which can affect anybody. It is caused by the inhalation of water spray from contaminated sources. It is not contagious.

Am I at risk?

All hot and cold water supplies carry a risk of carrying diseases that build up inside the water system, especially when they have not been used for a while. This risk is small, but it is important to know about it.

Staying safe

There are some things you can do to make sure your water supply is safe to use:

  • Running the shower and all taps in your home for at least five minutes every week unless you are using them every day
  • If you are away from your flat for more than a week, for example on holiday, remember to run the taps and shower for at least five minutes when you come back. Try to avoid breathing in the water spray, for example by putting a plastic bag around the shower head.
  • Clean and descale your shower head every three months to stop disease building up. Get someone to help you if you need to.
  • If you haven’t used the toilet for a while, flush it with the lid down to avoid breathing in the spray.
  • If you have or use a garden hosepipe, drain it after use. Before the next use, run for a few minutes. If the hose has been stored for winter, before first use in the spring flush water through the hose (without the spray head) for around ten minutes.
  • At the end of summer, descale and disinfect the spray head from your garden hose.
  • Report anything unusual such as rust flowing from your water outlets.

What will we do for you?

As your landlord, we will:

  • Carry out regular communal checks to make sure the water supply is safe to use. We will do this according to national regulations on water safety.
  • Let you know about any problems with water safety and give you advice to help you stay safe.

Any questions?

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your Housing Officer, Temporary Accommodation Officer or Independent Living Officer.

You can email these departments at the following addresses:

Housing Management

Independent Living

Temporary Accommodation

You can also report concerns to us through the My Lewisham Homes portal, write to us at FREEPOST Lewisham Homes (no stamp needed) or call 0800 028 2 028.