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18 November 2016 Probe after deadly Legionella bacteria found at Walton Leisure Centre

posted 2 Dec 2016, 05:45 by Chas Thompson

Urgent work is being carried out to locate the source of the potentially deadly Legionella bacteria after a customer contracted Legionnaires' disease at a council leisure centre.

A test sample was taken in a new shower area at Walton's revamped Lifestyles Centre last month and laboratory analysis came back positive. Tendring Council, which runs the pool and gym site, was told of the result yesterday and is undertaking further investigations.

Tests were initially carried out after Public Health England told the council on 18 November that a customer of the centre had been admitted to Colchester Hospital with Legionnaires' Disease.The customer had recently used the fitness room and shower facilities at the site which was identified as a possible source. It is not known whether they have recovered.


The council says it took the immediate step of closing the fitness room showers.They will remain closed until testing returns a negative result.The council has informed the Health and Safety Executive of the problem.

Leisure boss Lynda McWilliams said all the necessary procedures had been followed. “As soon as we were contacted by Public Health England, the showers used by the customer were closed down and test samples taken,” she said. “All the necessary bodies were informed while we awaited the results of the tests which were carried out at an independent laboratory. The council’s corporate health and safety advisor is currently working to find and eliminate the source of the bacteria.”

The investigation involves dismantling and disinfecting shower heads, flushing the system and taking more samples.

The council says comprehensive management systems are in place to manage the water systems at Walton Lifestyles, which comply with the health and safety regulations.

The showers are part of the new development of the site which opened in April.

Mrs McWilliams added: “Customers’ health and well-being is – and always will be – our top priority and we ask them to bear with us until this matter is resolved.”

The pool and gym remain open at the centre.