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The Stoke Sentinel has reported on a recent case of Legionella bacteria found in Stoke’s West End Village.

Tests are being carried out after Legionella bacteria was discovered in the hot water supplies at a flats complex housing hundreds of residents.

The bacteria – which causes legionnaires’ disease – was discovered at Stoke’s West End Village and the neighbouring HQ of Staffordshire Housing Association (SHA), on London Road, last week.

SHA has written to the complex’s 300-plus residents to stress that the problem is confined to the development’s communal areas which include a cafe and restaurant, hairdressers, gym, meeting rooms and a hydrotherapy pool.

It led to the temporary closure of the restaurant and cafe and hairdressers and the gym continues to have no hot showers.

Now tests are continuing at the complex until Thursday, May 17 as environmental health continues to monitor the situation.

Sue Owen, aged 66, who has lived at West End Village for seven years, said: “We had a letter telling us what was going on and it hasn’t affected the flats. They have done some work and the businesses were up and running after a day.”

SHA has confirmed that ‘evidence of some Legionella bacteria in the communal hot water system’ was discovered on May 3 following routine tests.

Director of housing service Tim Sheail said: “We were advised to shutdown hot water supplies to the communal areas until the problem could be eradicated.

“This did not affect individual apartments within West End Village but involved the hot water supplies to the kitchens and toilets in the offices and the communal areas of the village.

“We immediately isolated the hot water taps in the affected areas, informed staff and delivered letters to all of the residents explaining what was happening. We used a specialist water hygiene company to treat the affected hot water cylinder the following day.

“We have advised residents that the treatment and re-testing process should mean the hot water system will be back to normal by the end of next week. It takes a few days because it involves a laboratory testing process and the bacteria can take a few days to incubate.

“We have installed alternative forms of hot water heating to the restaurant kitchen, in consultation with environmental health, and we have provided alternative hot water to the hairdressers so their business would not be disrupted.

“This was all completed within 24 hours of shutting off the hot water supplies. We informed the gym manager on the day we found the problem and provided a notice for external customers explaining that hot water showers would not be available while we resolve this problem.

“Staff have been available to answer any residents’ concerns and most have been reassured by the fact that this did not affect their own hot water system.”

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has inspected the hot water supply to the cafe and restaurant and hairdressers and is happy with the temporary arrangement.

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