What is Legionella?

Legionnaire’s disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which can affect anybody, but which principally affects those who are susceptible because of age and illness. It is caused by the bacterium Legionella Pheumophila and related bacteria. Legionella bacteria can also cause less serious illnesses which are not fatal or permanently debilitating. Outbreaks have been associated with cooling tower systems and hot and cold water systems in factories, hotels, hospitals and other establishments.

Legionella is normally contracted by inhaling legionella bacteria, either tiny droplets of water (aerosol), or in droplet nuclei (the particles left after the water has evaporated) contaminated with legionella, deep into the lungs. There is evidence that the disease may also be contracted by inhaling legionella bacteria following ingestion of contaminated water by susceptible individuals.


Symptoms begin abruptly, ranging from a mild cough and fever to stupor, respiratory failure and multi-organ failure.

Legionella occurs in hot and cold water systems, but can be minimized by correct design, maintenance and management

M.D.B. Plumbing Ltd can provide a risk assessment which will include

  • Advice on improvements to your system
  • Advice on water management
  • The assessment will included identification and evaluation of potential source of risk
  • Potential of harm to health from exposure is reasonably foreseeable unless adequate precautionary measures are taken.
  • Decision on the necessary measure to prevent the risk from exposure to legionella bacteria