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Decontamination extended at Legionella site in Lincoln

Decontamination work at an elderly sheltered accommodation site in Lincoln has been extended over the weekend.

The City Council discovered high readings of the bacteria Legionella in parts of the water system at St Botolph’s Court on Tuesday.

Since Wednesday, 51 elderly residents have been provided with safe drinking water and off-site bathing facilities at De Wint Court, on De Wint Avenue.

The water system at the site has been shut and contractors hired to chemically flush and disinfect the affected pipework.

Legionella is a bacteria which, if it becomes airborne, can be inhaled and develop into Legionnaire’s disease. This can develop into pneumonia in certain cases.

It was estimated the cleaning would be completed by Friday, but it had to be extended, explained John Bibby, Director of Housing and Community Services at the City Council:

“The work to disinfect the water system has taken longer than initially anticipated. This, in turn, has delayed the gathering of water samples for laboratory analysis to be used to confirm that the treatment has reduced the Legionella bacteria down to safe levels.

“Whilst the council appreciates that extending the arrangements will cause some inconvenience for residents of St Botolph’s Court, their safety is of utmost importance and is our main priority.

“The Council will lift restrictions only when it has received satisfactory results from a laboratory analysis of the accommodation’s water. These results are expected to be received on Tuesday.

“Residents of the sheltered accommodation have been kept fully informed and are aware of the decision. The arrangements that the Council put in place earlier this week will remain over coming days, with residents being given a supply of bottled water for drinking, for food preparation and general use together with alternative arrangements for bathing and laundry.”