Discovery of Legionella bacteria forces closure of Wanstead Youth Centre

Wanstead Youth Centre has been closed and is expected to remain shut for the next two weeks after Legionella bacteria were found in its water system.

The centre in Elmcroft Avenue, which hosts leisure activities for young people aged 13 to 19, was shut on Monday.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “As a result of a routine test on May 3 it was discovered that Legionella bacteria were present in parts of the centre’s water system.

“As soon as the Youth Service received the result, the decision was made to shut the centre, with immediate effect.

“Legionella bacteria are commonly found in water systems and are considered to be low risk when managed correctly.

“There are tried and tested methods to deal with the bacteria and these will be employed at the centre.

“The affected parts of the water system will now be treated and a rigorous programme of monthly monitoring will continue to be implemented.

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“Those using the centre have been contacted about the situation. “Wherever possible, the Youth Service has provided support and advice to the user groups to look for alternative venues that are appropriate.”

Legionellosis is the collective name given to the pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria.

The most serious form, Legionnaires’ disease, is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.

Pupils were sent home from Seven Kings High School in Ley Street last year after Legionella bacteria were found following routine tests.