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Your water company has a legal duty to make sure the water coming in to your home is safe. But there are a few simple things you can do to make sure your water stays safe.

Hot and cold water systems

Bacteria can breed at lower temperatures so your combination boiler, electric multi-point water heater or domestic hot water cylinder should be set at a minimum of 60º.  

If you are away from home for a long period and not using your water, like a holiday or a hospital stay, bacteria can start to grow in your cold water system. When you return home, heat up your system to the normal temperature, open the hot taps and run them for at least five minutes. Cold taps should be flushed until the water runs cold. When you flush your taps and other outlets, open them slowly and take care not to cause splashing, which will release spray droplets into the atmosphere. Doing this will flush out any bateria. 

Keep your taps clean

Taps can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

Make sure you keep them clean by wiping them with an anti-bacterial wipe. We recommend that you clean your taps every two to three months.

If you haven’t used your taps for a while, especially if you’ve been on holiday for a few weeks then it’s a good idea to let you taps run for a few minutes to help flush out the pipes. You only need to do it for about five minutes and it doesn’t need to be on full – just so there’s a flow of water.


It’s really important to keep your shower-head clean.

Make sure it’s attached properly so the shower head doesn’t fall into your bath water…if it’s got bacteria on it then it’ll spread in your bath water…yuk!

Make sure you clean your shower head regularly as well. Either use a bacterial wipe or, even better, use a nylon brush and then soak the head in a bleach solution. We recommend that you clean your shower every two to three months.

And like with your taps, if you’ve been away and not used your shower for a while, turn it on for a few minutes before you use it again so it flushes out the pipes.

Outside taps and other appliances

If you fit an outside tap, make sure it’s fitted with a double-check valve to prevent backflow.

Make sure you buy your appliances from reputable companies. Things like washing machines and dishwashers will be up to the legal standards but some commercial appliances aren’t suitable for being used at home so just be careful about what you buy.

Water Filters

If you filter your water then just make sure you change the filter cartridge from time-to-time. The instructions with your filter will tell you how often you need to change them.

Use Water Wisely

Try not to waste water. It’s a precious resource…and if you’re on a water meter especially it could cost you more money.

Find out how much you could save with our top water saving tips!

Did you know…

  • A dripping tap can waste up to 140 litres of water a week.

Don’t forget…

  • Know where your main stop tap is and make sure it works so if there is a leak, you can isolate the supply so you don’t waste water or cause too much damage to your home.

Immersion heater safety alert!

If your water is heated by an immersion heater, look out for warning signs that there may be a problem.

  • Excessively hot water coming out of the hot water taps.
  • Excessive noise or ‘burbling’ from the hot water cylinder.
  • Hot water coming out of certain cold water taps.
  • Steam/moisture in the roof space.
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