Royal Navy HQ Whale Island in Portsmouth is partly closed after deadly Legionella bacteria is found in water system

A SECTION of the Royal Navy’s headquarters has been shut after a deadly bacteria was found in a water system.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 11:38 am
Updated Friday, 21st August 2020, 5:04 pm

Leach building, part of navy command HQ on Whale Island, Portsmouth, has temporarily shut while the Legionella bacteria is flushed out and the water system is treated.

Legionella is a pathogen that causes Legionnaires’ disease, which is fatal in 10 per cent of cases.

There are no reports of staff with symptoms so far and the insisted there had been ‘no impact’ on operations.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Whale Island and HMS Excellent base. Picture: Shaun Roster

A spokeswoman said: 'A building in HMS Excellent, Whale Island has been temporarily closed after Legionella was detected. Cleaning is ongoing to ensure the safety of the water supply.

‘There has been no impact on Royal Navy operations.'

Read More

Read More
Veterans angry after White Ensign flying on block is removed 'as building is not...

The First Sea Lord – the head of the Senior Service – is among the sailors based in the building.

Numbers working in the navy are lower this month as some staff are on summer leave, and some civilian staff based at the HMS Excellent have been working remotely from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Legionella can cause serious illnesses in people over the age of 50, smokers, and those with underlying health conditions

Legionnaires' disease is a type of pneumonia, contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing Legionella bacteria.

The droplets can be created by things such as hot and cold water outlets, atomisers, whirlpools or hydrotherapy baths.

In May, Public Health England urged businesses to flush out the the hot and cold water supply in their buildings before reopening to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

It said the chances of the bacteria forming would increase if no action was taken during the warmer months.

The bacteria can multiply when the water is between 25 and 50 degrees or if there is poor or no flow into the system.

Looking for the latest Royal Navy updates from Portsmouth? Join our new Royal Navy news Facebook group to keep up to date.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.