Legionnaires’ Disease in spas and hot tubs

Hot tubs, spa pools, Jacuzzis and whirlpools have become increasingly popular in the UK. With many people installing hot tubs in their own homes, they are also a common feature in sports centres, hotels, health clubs, holiday villages and cruise ships.

It is important to be aware of the risk of Legionella in regard to the warm water of a spa potentially provides and ideal environment for the bacteria to thrive. In addition to this, breathing in moist air that is infected with the bacteria can cause a person to contract the disease. You do not have to be in the hot tub, Legionnaires’ Disease can be caught by just standing nearby. The bubble aeration in a spa makes this more likely to happen and there have been cases of Legionnaires’ disease that have been traced back to spas or hot tubs although domestic showers are also a risk.

See Now four people are dead in a Legionnaires’ outbreak tied to hot tubs at North Carolina state fair

What can I do to protect myself from Legionella?

Hot tubs and spas that are not cleaned and disinfected continuously can become infected with Legionella, as the bacteria exist naturally in the environment. It can be found in the mains water supply, where it can be safely swallowed.

In order to keep your spa water safe, you should test the water daily before use and maintain the chlorine or bromine levels at 3 – 6 parts per million and the pH between 7.0 and 7.6

Check the water more often when there is a heavy bather load – when the spa is being used more often or by a larger number of bathers. There are specific rules for hot tubs in holiday lodges etc. as well as for commercial spas.

HLA Services Water Hygiene division is well placed to help you meet these HSE Enforcement Expectations.

For more information on our Water Hygiene division please visit hlaservices.co.uk/services/water-hygiene


legionella awareness for hot tubs