Legionella bug found again

CHANGING rooms in an Ipswich sports centre have been sealed off after the germ which can cause Legionnaire's Disease was found in the water system for the second time in six months.

CHANGING rooms in an Ipswich sports centre have been sealed off after the germ which can cause Legionnaire's Disease was found in the water system for the second time in six months.

Routine checks carried out for Ipswich Borough Council found an increased level of the legionella bacteria in the new changing rooms at Gainsborough Sports Centre yesterday and the rooms were immediately taken out of use.

No one has fallen ill as a result of the higher than normal levels and they do not represent an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease but the council has taken action as a precautionary measure.

It is today trying to find out why one set of changing rooms at the centre have proved susceptible to increased levels of the bacteria, which occurs naturally in water.


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It can multiply when water is heated and can be dangerous when it is carried in water droplets from showers or air conditioning systems.

Other changing areas at the centre are unaffected and the council today stressed there was no danger to the public.

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A spokesman said: “The area was taped off to prevent use until the count is reduced to an acceptable level.

“It's absolutely fine to use the rest of the centre. It is strictly limited to that block.”

In March showers in the same changing area and in the main centre were taken out of use after tests revealed higher than normal levels of the bacteria.

A chemical cleaning company is expected to begin work on cleaning and disinfecting the changing area on Monday and tests will then be sent to a laboratory to see if the bacteria level has been reduced.

The spokesman said: “We won't know if the first clean is successful for at least ten days from the time the samples reach the lab.

“If all goes well with that first clean we could be back in business for the weekend of the 16th and 17th of September.”

The timing of the increased bacteria levels is unfortunate for the council as the football season begins this weekend and players will be forced to use the old changing area. The council was notifying clubs today about the disruption.

Dispute that, it said it was pleased routine tests introduced last year had picked up the raised levels of the bacteria.

It has now set about learning why the same changing area has once again harboured high levels of the bacteria.

The spokesman said: “That's what we want to know as an utmost priority. We have an officer dedicated to this at the moment.

“We're determined to get to the bottom of it.”

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