With a heatwave on the way for much of the country, experts are warning that using hoses could prove to be deadly.
They say the garden devices can be a breeding ground for deadly Legionnaires’ disease.
Dangerous bacteria including legionella thrive in warm, stagnant water.
As a result hosepipes which are fitted wrongly or left submerged in ponds, watering cans or paddling pools can spread disease. The dirty water can also “backflow” into a home’s drinking water.
In addition, fine spray which cannot be detected by the human eye is formed when a hosepipe is used.
If it is inhaled it can also lead to Legionnaires.
The disease, a form of pneumonia, can cause serious illness or death. The elderly and people with underlying illness are most at risk. Plumbers body WaterSafe, backed by the Royal Society for Public Health, has now issued a list of tips on how to stay safe.
The advice includes keeping a hose out of the sun and running it without a nozzle.
They also suggest turning hoses off at the tap, disconnecting them when they are not being used and fitting a self-closing flow control, such as a trigger spray gun.
But they claim the best way to stay safe and save water in hot weather is to swap the hosepipe for a watering can.
WaterSafe’s Julie Spinks said: “We’re encouraging everyone to follow these simple safety measures to not only help avoid contaminating your drinking water supply but also reduce the risk of contracting a serious illness.
“Better still, using a watering can instead of a hosepipe is much more water-efficient and won’t pose a risk to your drinking water supply.”
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