We have an apartment in a block of twenty apartments. Our apartment is only used several times per year. In each apartment there is a hot water tank. Are we at risk of contracting Legionella if the hot water tank is used only when we visit the apartment? Sometimes this can be months.
The risk for contracting Legionnaires’ disease from residences and apartments is very small. The risk probably does not come from stagnancy or decreased usage of the water heater; the risk comes from the characteristics of those individuals staying in the apartment. For example, elderly cigarette smokers, those with chronic lung disease, or those with immune status deficiencies (transplant recipients).
The only way to know for sure is for us to test the water in the apartment. I wouldn’t bother unless:
1) There are high-risk residents living in the apartment
2) A cases or cases of Legionnaires’ disease are occurring in your apartment block.
If you want us to test, let us know – we will send you test kits and instructions.If cases of Legionnaires’ disease have occurred, we will perform the tests gratis (if your Health Dept cannot do so).
I suggest that you not worry about it.