Legionella bacteria are common in natural water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, but usually in low numbers. They may also be found in purpose-built water systems such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools.

People may contract Legionnaires' Disease if they inhale droplets of water containing the bacteria.

Employers, the self-employed and people in control of premises have a duty to identify and control risks associated with legionella and the quality of drinking water.

This includes premises such as:

  • shops
  • hairdressers
  • beauty salons
  • offices
  • gyms
  • sports clubs
  • golf clubs
  • hotels
  • pubs
  • clubs
  • restaurants
  • camp sites
  • and any other business that has a water supply

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published guidance to assist businesses with their legal duty HSE - Legionella and Legionnaires' disease

Further advice is available from your area Environmental Health Officer:

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