Royal Navy HQ in Portsmouth closes after Legionella bacteria found in water system

Whale Island in Portsmouth Credit: ITV News Meridian

A section of the Royal Navy's headquarters in Portsmouth has been temporarily shut due to the discovery of Legionella bacteria in the water system.

The Navy confirmed that cleaning was taking place in a building at HMS Excellent on Whale Island to ensure the safety of the water supply. 

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

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.

Royal Navy spokesperson
Whale Island in Portsmouth Credit: ITV News Meridian

A spokesperson said there was no impact on operations and no staff had reported any symptoms.

They added that 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.

During the coronavirus pandemic, companies and organisations have been advised to monitor water systems.

The Health and Safety Executive says: "If your building was closed or has reduced occupancy during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, water system stagnation can occur due to lack of use, increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease."