Richmondshire businesses urged to check water before reopening

Richmondshire businesses preparing to reopen after lockdown are being urged to ensure their water systems are safe.

The district council says water standing in pipes and tanks for prolonged periods has the potential to allow the growth of harmful bacteria particularly Legionella and to become tainted by the material it is in contact with.

Legionnaires’ disease is a respiratory illness which occurs when tiny droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria are breathed into the lungs of susceptible people.

Health and safety law requires employers, business owners and landlords to manage the risks of exposure to Legionella to protect the health and safety of employees, visitors and tenants

“As we get ready for reopening buildings, the water systems should be assessed and measures taken to ensure that they are fit for purpose and not harmful to health before being brought back into use,” said Dr Kevin Carr, Richmondshire District Council acting environmental health and housing options manager.

Advice on bringing water systems back into use can be found at:

Health and Safety Executive:

Public Health England:

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health guidance on Legionnaires’ disease: lockdown risks and reopening safely:

For general information on symptoms of Legionella visit: