20 de jan. de 2012

Legionella bug found in Filton public showers

LEGIONELLA bacteria has been discovered at public showers run by Filton Town Council – and the cost of fixing the problem could be £14,000.
Staff working at Filton Leisure Centre raised concerns about whether the bacteria could pose a risk to staff and customers at a recent town council staffing meeting. Councillors have stressed that the bacteria has only been found in the showers of the Pavilion, which are not connected to any other water system at Filton Leisure Centre, where tests for the bacteria have proved negative, and a memo has been sent out to reassure staff.
The bacteria, which thrives in water temperatures of between 25°C and 45°C, was found in the showers, which are used by those who play football and other sports on Elm Park playing fields.
A trace of the bacteria was discovered in the water tank that supplies the showers after a routine inspection last month.
The showers have been closed since then and the council are paying for the problem to be fixed.
No one is thought to have been affected by the bacteria so far, which can lead to Legionnaire's disease, a potentially fatal infectious disease.
Filton Town Council's deputy clerk Diane Sanders told the Post that the original cost of refitting the showers and the water system was £5,800 but after further investigations the cost went up.
She said the cost of the repairs now stood at £14,000 and is being undertaken by contractor Bath Water Works.
This is due to an expensive faulty part that needs to be replaced and because the showers' water supply needs to be switched from the old tank to the mains.
A Filton resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Post: "I was at Filton Leisure Centre with my young family when it was mentioned by a staff member.
"They said they had raised it with the council and are worried about health and safety.
"There are no signs warning the customers or sports teams who use the showers that they have identified bacteria, which is really quite worrying
"I wont be taking my young kids swimming at the leisure centre until they make a public statement that they have fixed the problem and have been given the all-clear."
Filton Leisure Centre manager Lisa Timbrell said: "The problem is isolated to the showers in the Pavilion.
"They are supplied by a separate tank, which was very old and needed replacing. The rest of the leisure centre is not affected and all tests there have been negative.
"The showers have been closed since the problem was detected but we hope they will reopen in the next few weeks after tests have been conducted to make sure the bacteria has gone away."
Filton Town Council chairman Adam Monk said: "Clearly it's disappointing that the showers within the Pavilion have been found to contain legionella bacteria.
"As a council we acted swiftly and have engaged a contractor to work on a system to overcome this problem.
"We are sorry for any inconvenience caused at the facility but obviously the severity of the problem meant we needed to close the showers."
Mr Monk said the money used to pay for work would come from the general maintenance reserves budget.
The Evening Post understands some remedial work was undertaken on the showers in late 2009 when the same problem occurred.

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