The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has released important information and advice on legionella for users and suppliers of water treatment systems.

From 1 February, 2013, it will be illegal to sell or use water treatment systems that use elemental copper in order to add copper ions to water as a biocide. It will also be illegal to supply the copper needed for their use.

Action has been taken at a European Union level under the Biocidal Products Directive, because no manufacturer supported the use of elemental copper for use as biocides in these systems during a review period that ended in September 2011.

Along with this information, HSE has also produced a simple 'Frequently Asked Questions' document which aims to answer any questions installers have about Legionella, the control of Legionella and monitoring systems.

Charlotte Murray, PR & marketing manager for the Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC), said: "We would like to direct all installers who use water treatment systems to this new information from the HSE. We have received queries from concerned members about Legionella control and monitoring systems so this information is a welcome development."

More details can be found online here:

More detailed guidance is available in the Approved Code of Practice and guidance Legionnaires' Disease: The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems.