A COLLEGE salon was closed after legionella was discovered in its water supply.

City College Brighton and Hove’s hair and beauty salon, called City Revival, tested positive for the bacteria.

Normally found naturally in ponds, rivers and lakes, the bacteria can multiply quickly in large buildings with complex water supply systems.

One person to contact The Argus, who asked not to be named, said it had been an ongoing problem for four weeks.

She said: “The hair salon has been closed but all pipework is linked across the whole of Pelham Tower.

She said staff were told not to talk about the problem.

She added: “We are concerned for staff and student welfare and concerned by a lack of information.”

A City College spokesman said: “Due to a very low level of bacteria being detected in a single non-drinking water outlet in the City Revival salons during routine checks, City College has temporarily suspended hairdressing and washing facilities at the salon as an extra precaution while water treatment specialists continue to resolve the issue and ensure the water meets stringent industry standards, which are being maintained throughout Pelham Tower.

“The identification of bacteria has not resulted in the need for any other outlets to be isolated.

“Appropriate action has been taken and we are expecting the facilities to be available again shortly.

The college confirmed that it was not a reportable incident where the Health and Safety Executive was concerned.

Though not involved in this case, Brighton and Hove City Council previously had concerns over water fountains in housing blocks where it considered legionella to be a threat.

A council spokeswoman cited water contamination issues, such as legionella, as “extremely serious health concerns”.

Another person to contact The Argus expressed concern over hot taps in the catering toilets being out of action.

The college warning tape had been left on taps by contractors during a “routine disinfectant system flush” over the weekend, creating the “mistaken impression” that the hot taps had been turned off.

Rebecca Conroy (pictured left), the college’s vice principle, said that closing the salon was a precautionary measure.

She said: “No students have been impacted by the closing of this salon as we have a floor of hair salons on the 9th floor. I also want to stress that we have had no reports of anyone being unwell that link in any way to this situation.”


Legionella bacteria is usually found (often in harmlessly low numbers) in sources of water, such as ponds, rivers and lakes.

However, the bacteria can rapidly multiply if found in artificial water supply systems.

Legionella bacteria need two things to grow: water temperature of 20C to 45C and impurities such as rust, algae or limescale.

Legionella is the bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease, the most serious of related infections to occur.

In 2013, 284 people were reported to have the infection in England and Wales.