The UK’s leading plumber accreditation body is warning householders that the humble hosepipe could be a danger to their drinking water – as well as exposing them to the risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease.
Many homeowners don’t realise how ill they can become if the water in the hosepipe “backflows” into their drinking water supply, or becomes contaminated by the potentially lethal bacteria which causes Legionnaires’ disease.
WaterSafe has now teamed up with renowned health expert Dr Susanne Lee, Director of Leegionella Ltd, to develop its top do’s and don’ts to help keep customers and their hosepipes healthy and safe.
Its hosepipe tips are:
The advice comes after media reports emerged about the death of a 63-year-old Norfolk grandfather from Legionnaires’ disease, which may have been contracted from working in the garden with a hose.
Legionnaires’ disease is a rare form of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria. It is usually contracted from inhaling very small aerosols which come from sprays formed when turning on a shower, tap, flushing a toilet, or using a spa pool, hot tub or other activities which cause a spray of water – such as a hosepipe.
Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe, said: “Sadly many homeowners may not realise how ill you can get if the water in your hosepipe “backflows” into your drinking water supply, or becomes contaminated by potentially lethal bacteria, such as Legionella, that can thrive in warm, stagnant water.
“These simple steps will help protect against this happening but if in any doubt, always seek advice from a WaterSafe-approved plumber who will be able to ensure you have the right safety measures in place.”
Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health said: “Getting the message out about hosepipe safety is of great importance for the public’s health. Quick and easy measures can ensure drinking water is kept clear of contaminants to keep families safe.
“The RSPH welcomes WaterSafe’s release of their top hosepipe DO’S and DON’T’S - sensible and practical advice that will help prevent those who follow it from potentially contracting serious diseases such as Legionnaires’.”
WaterSafe is encouraging everyone to share its hosepipe safety campaign on social media with the hashtag #HosepipeSafety. WaterSafe can also be found on Twitter: @WaterSafeUK and Facebook: /WaterSafeRegister
For help to find a local approved plumber, use the WaterSafe website postcode search.