Royal Navy Legionella
Part of the Royal Navy’s headquarters has been shut following Legionella detection in the water system.
Leach building, which part of Navy Command headquarters in Portsmouth Harbour, has closed temporarily while legionella bacteria is treated and flushed out. Legionella bacteria causes Legionnaires’ disease, which is fatal in 10% of cases. The Royal Navy Legionella bacteria must be treated using the necessary procedures and future legionella monitoring must be carried out.
The First Sea Lord – the professional head of the Navy, is among the staff based at the building in HMS Excellent on Whale Island in Hampshire.
There are no reports of staff with symptoms so far. However, legionella symptoms could present at a later date.
A Royal Navy spokeswoman said there had been “no impact” on operations.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia, contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing Legionella bacteria. The water droplets can be created in hot and cold water outlets, atomisers, whirlpools or hydrotherapy baths. Therefore it is essential that regular monitoring is maintained in the prevention of Legionnaires’ Disease.
Public Health England
In May, Public Health England urged businesses to flush out the hot and cold water supply in their buildings before reopening to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Water Hygiene Services’ Director Ben Baldwin was featured in the Yorkshire Evening Post in May 2020 highlighting this very issue.
Public Health England said the chances of the bacteria forming would increase if no action was taken during the warmer months.
Legionella bacteria can multiply when the water is between 25C and 50C or if there is poor or no flow into the system.
Contact the team for a no-obligation quote
If you would like to discuss a Legionella Monitoring programme or any of the water hygiene services we offer please contact a member of the team today or use the contact form opposite and a member of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.