• Lisamarie Lamb

What Water Temperature Kills Legionella?

Legionella is a species of bacterium that grows in water and is most often seen in warm, stagnant water. This bacterium is responsible for the spread of legionnaires' disease, which can be lethal. There are many methods for killing legionella bacteria; one of the most popular is to manage water temperatures.



Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA


At What Temperaure Does Legionella Grow?

Temperatures to avoid in your water system should be between 20°C and 45°C. Legionella thrives in water at this temperature, and the bacteria will grow. Fast.


How Long Does Legionella Take To Develop In Water?

The answer is that it doesn't take long for legionella to grow. Legionella may proliferate fast under optimum settings, such as warm, stagnant water, and become a concern in days. Most water systems are built and regulated to avoid these ideal circumstances and eliminate legionella.


What Temperature Will Kill Legionella?

To destroy legionella bacteria, make sure the water is too hot for them to thrive in. They do not need to be boiled, but they must be heated above 60°C. But water at that temperature is also not beneficial for you. You would burn if you took a 60°C bath.


Why would water come out of the tap this hot if we couldn't use it at that temperature?


Water is often held in systems at such high temperatures to kill off any legionella bacteria. That's why the water flowing out of the hot tap may be, well, too hot!


Bacteria begin to die at temperatures over 50°C. Legionella bacteria cannot live over 60°C.


Does Cold Water Kill Legionella?

Cold water doesn't kill legionella. But if the water is cold enough, the bacteria can go to sleep, so water systems can also be protected from legionella by storing water at a lower temperature.


Even though the bacteria might not be growing and making more copies, they are still alive. They can still be found. If the weather gets warmer, they could become dangerous again. If you store cold water, it has to stay cold.

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