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The Green Deal is a government-backed scheme aimed at making properties more energy efficient. It launched in January 2013.

You may see some publicity about the Green Deal or be contacted by private companies to sign up to the Green Deal. Before you sign up to anything it is important that you contact NCHA first. You can do so by:
You will need to get permission from NCHA to have Green Deal works carried out from external companies.

NCHA sees the Green Deal as a way of reducing carbon and energy bills but we think there are too many risks involved for our tenants so we are proposing NOT to accept Green Deal Offers from private companies for our tenants.

However, if you are offered a Green Deal, and it is something you are interested in accepting, NCHA may be able to help.

Send details to NCHA So that we can carry out an energy assessment on your property. You can do so by:
NCHA is committed to reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions. We are carrying out a rolling, phased programme of installing energy saving measures to our homes as required as part of a planned programme and we feel that this approach is more beneficial than the Green Deal at this moment in time.
Legionnaires' disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, which can affect anybody. It is caused by certain types of legionella bacteria.

Infection with legionella bacteria can be fatal in approx. 10 to 15% of reported cases; however this rate can be higher in a more susceptible population such as immuno-suppressed patients or those with other underlying disease.

Certain groups of people are known to be at a higher risk of contracting Legionnaires‘ disease; men appear more susceptible than women, as do those over 45 years of age, smokers, alcoholics, diabetics and those with cancer or chronic respiratory or kidney disease.

On average there are approximately 200-250 reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease per year in the UK, however it is generally thought that this may be an underestimate.

Legionella bacteria can also cause less serious illnesses, which are not fatal or permanently debilitating.

Legionnaires' disease is contracted by inhaling the legionella bacterium in tiny droplets of contaminated water (aerosols), therefore any water spray or splashing is a potential source of infection such as showers, hoses, or taps.

At this time, there is no evidence of Legionnaires’ disease being caught through person-to-person contact. The incubation period is between 2-10 days and not everyone exposed will develop the full-blown disease but may suffer mild flu like symptoms. Initial symptoms of the disease include high fever, chills, headaches and muscle pain. About one third of patients infected also develop diarrhoea or vomiting.

Legionnaires’ disease can be treated effectively with appropriate antibiotics.

Legionella bacteria are common in nature and can be found in water sources such as rivers and lakes, usually in low numbers. Legionella bacteria will multiply more readily in slow moving or stationary water, and require a source of nutrients such as algae, scale, corrosion or sediment.

Water temperatures in the range 20C to 45C seem to favour growth. The bacteria do not appear to multiply below 20C and will not survive above 60C.

You should be aware that the risk of contracting Legionnaire’s disease from a domestic property where the water services are regularly used is very low however the risk increases if the water services have not been used for an extended period.

NCHA Recommendations:

  • Ensure the thermostat on your hot water system is set to a minimum of 65C, but be aware that the risk of scalding from outlets that are not fitted with a Thermostatic Mixer Valve is greatly increased. 

  • Any hot or cold tap that is not used within a seven day period should be flushed through for at least 2 minutes on a weekly basis or on your return to the property (avoid splashing to minimise the release of water droplets / aerosols) 

  • Any shower that is not used within a seven-day period should be flushed through for at least 2 minutes on a weekly basis or on your return to the property at both maximum and minimum temperatures. Avoid the release of water droplets / aerosols by either securing a plastic bag over the shower head with a corner cut off to allow water to escape or by removing the shower head and placing the shower hose directly over the drain outlet. 

  • Any toilet that is not used within a seven-day period should be flushed on a weekly basis or on your return to the property (the lid should be closed to avoid contact with any water droplets / aerosol). 

  • Shower heads should be regularly cleaned and disinfected to ensure no scale or algal build up.

Water - we all need it, can't live without it - and yet we are using more and more of it.

Astonishingly in the last 40 years we have increased our water use in this country by 70%.

It always seems to be raining in Britain, particularly in the summer but there is a limited supply of water, and shortages are a problem in many parts of the country.

By saving water, you can help protect wildlife like birds and fish that live in rivers and wetlands and struggle to survive when these sources of water dry up. You can also cut the energy needed for treating water, helping reduce climate change. You can cut your bills if you are on a water meter.

How much water are we using?

These everyday activities use this amount of water:

Bath      80 litres 
5 minute shower 35 litres 
5 minute power shower  90 litres 
1 toilet flush  9 litres 
Washing machine load  60 litres 
Washing car with a bucket of water  10 litres 

How to save water

Saving water is easy if you just follow a few simple tips:

  • When cleaning your teeth, don’t leave the tap running
  • Having a shower uses less water than a bath, but be quick in a power shower, they use up a lot of water
  • Dripping taps are water running down the drain; get them fixed
  • Only wash full loads in the washing machine
  • Put a water displacement device (sometimes called a 'hippo') in the cistern of a higher flush toilet - you will reduce the amount of water used for each flush, typically by one or two litres. Most water companies provide free displacement devices for their customers

To see how much water you could save, please visit The Energy Saving Trust

Almost every homeowner will have experienced some form of blockage within their home. With years of experience within the drainage industry, the DMS drainage team are fully capable of spotting the most common and probable causes of such blockages. The DMS have put together the following information listing the most common causes of drain blockages, so that you’re able to spot the tell-tale signs before they have a chance to worsen.

Trees and leaves
When Autumn starts to set in many homeowners will be busy in the garden, carrying out essential garden maintenance to keep their gardens looking neat and tidy as the leaves begin to brown and fall from their trees. Besides the obvious housekeeping reasons, keeping your garden free from stray leaves and debris can also help to keep the issue of blocked drains at bay. Leaves are not the only culprit, as tree roots which are drawn to the nearest source of water can also crack into the pipes over time, causing a blockage.

Grease and fat
This is one of the most common causes of all, yet it is also one of the easiest to prevent. Any fatty substances which are washed down the sinks will stick to the inside of the pipes, eventually building up so much that no more liquid can pass through. This can be easily avoided by keeping a watchful eye over the liquids which you do decide to wash away.

Hair
A build up of hair can also pose a large problem for homeowners. Over time this can worsen if the blockage is not quickly cleared, preventing liquid from passing through it altogether. Although this can be helped by using devices which catch the hair before it enters the pipes, you should still pay close attention to this simple, yet avoidable issue.

Foreign objects

Choked or blocked drainage can occur when foreign objects or materials such as soaps, fats or food build up become caught between the drainpipe and the pipes that flow underneath. Initially the material may not fully block the drain, but over time materials will continue to collect which will prevent water from flowing freely and could eventually cause the drain to block. Toilets regularly block up due to too much toilet paper, sanitary items and even nappies being flushed down them. Young children are often the culprits for blocked toilets. They have been known to flush a full roll of toilet paper, a toy and even the toilet brush.

For help or advice about using the DMS Drainage service, click here or call 0800 317861.