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7 February 2020 Swimming pools closed at Melville Hall Hotel Isle of Wight after Legionnaires' disease bacteria found

posted 10 Feb 2020, 03:34 by Ian Clarenbone

Swimming pool and spa facilities have been closed at a Sandown hotel on the order of environmental health officers — after fears were raised guests could be exposed to Legionnaires' disease.

The Isle of Wight Council confirmed it had launched an investigation at the Melville Hall Hotel and Utopia Spa in Sandown. It said high levels of Legionella bacterium, which causes Legionnaires' disease, had been found in the pool and hot tubs.

One guest, who asked not to be named, said he was swimming when environmental health officers descended on the hotel, and told him to get out of the pool immediately.

When asked if any action had been taken at Melville Hall, an Isle of Wight Council spokesperson replied: "We can confirm the council's environmental health department is investigating the confirmed presence of the Legionella bacterium at an undesirable level in the spa and pool leisure facilities of a hotel on the Isle of Wight. Enforcement action has been undertaken to eliminate the risk, which has included the hotel taking measures to close both facilities pending ongoing investigations."

Reviews posted online by unhappy customers claim the facilities were not clean, there were birds in the outdoor swimming pool, the detox cabin would not heat up and algae was growing in the pool.

Georgia Day, who visited with a friend on January 31, described the experience as a 'not-so-relaxing spa day.' She said: "The pool was freezing cold and the hot tub had yellow signs with white and red tape around it — it looked like a crime scene, to be honest. We could only use a normal hot tub, the kind some people have in their gardens, and the sauna had to be switched on and warmed up." The pair left after 45 minutes.

Despite the fact the council had confirmed high levels of Legionella bacterium had been found, a spokesperson for Melville Hall Hotel and Utopia Spa said there was 'no proof' the facilities had been contaminated. “Our guests' health and safety is our highest priority," said the spokesperson. "The environmental health service is obliged to check all hotels on the Island — to date, we have not received any proof of water contaminates in any of our facilities or anyone becoming ill. Naturally, we will work with them during our ongoing refurbishment program to further enhance our superb facilities."