A Hartlepool firm is launching its first Legionella Awareness Day.
Town-based water treatment company, the Hydrochem Group, is urging older people, parents and business owners to stay vigilant against the potentially deadly disease that has infected over 200 people this year alone.
Legionella Awareness Day will be held on Wednesday, August 30, and aims to make people aware of the risks of the lethal bacteria.
The bacteria naturally occurs in water and soil but increased levels can cause Legionnaire’s Disease, a serious infection of the lungs that is fatal in one in ten cases.
Levels of Legionella increase when water is recirculated, there is rust, sludge or slime and hoses, swimming pools, spas and hot tubs are a particular risk, making it more dangerous during warmer months.
Legionella Consultant Paul Abbott, said: “There is such a big risk especially to older people, children and those with impaired immune systems.
“We want to make people across the UK and beyond aware that Legionella can kill.”
Precautionary tips including making sure hot water is hot and cold water is cold to discourage bacteria from growing.
All baths, sinks and showers should be run regularly and water systems, such as tanks, water coolers and water butts, should be covered and clean.
Be careful around standing water, such as ponds and lakes, and take care when gardening, wearing gloves when handling soil and compost.