A hotel in Sandown on the Isle of Wight has been forced to close its spa facilities and swimming pool indefinitely after fears that guests were being exposed to potentially deadly Legionella bacteria.
Environmental Health Officers conducted the initial inspection and ordered the closure, whilst the Isle of Wight Council confirms it has launched a further investigation at the Melville Hall Hotel and Utopia Spa. It said “high levels” of Legionella bacterium, which causes Legionnaires’ disease, had been discovered in the pool and hot tub areas of the facility.
An anonymous guest described how he was swimming in the pool at the time when the Officers entered the building and told him to “get out of the pool immediately”.
When Isle of Wight Council was asked if any action had been taken at Melville Hall, a spokesperson responded as follows: “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.”
Interestingly, online reviews submitted by previous unhappy customers claim that the facilities were not kept clean, that there were birds in and all around the outdoor swimming pool, that the detox cabin would not heat up, and even that algae was growing in the pool. This highlights how vitally important it is to keep areas such as this clean, as Legionella can thrive in the wrong conditions.
Despite the Council confirming that high levels of Legionella bacterium had been found, a representative the hotel & spa said there was “no proof” that the facilities had been contaminated, stating “Our guests’ health and safety is our highest priority. 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.”
Remember, we’re here to help! If you run a hotel, spa, or any other business that requires regular Legionella Risk Assessments for your premises, just give us a call on 0800 121 8808 today where our friendly experts will be able to discuss your requirements.