Bacterial contamination discovered at Luton’s Barnfield College, but legionella claims dismissed

Barnfield College, New Bedford Road
Barnfield College, New Bedford Road

Barnfield College has strongly dismissed suggestions there is a legionella outbreak at its New Bedford Road campus, but has admitted it is dealing with a bacterial contamination issue.

A source contacting the Luton News this week suggested that staff were concerned about the possibility of legionella and claimed: “There are thousands of people coming and going in that place and it’s a big health risk.

“For the last fortnight members of staff have been told to drain every single tap first thing in the morning for a period of time to try and flush it out.”

But Barnfield has told the Luton News that the bacteria identified poses no risk to human health.

A spokesman said: “The college can confirm that there is currently no legionella problem at its New Bedford Road campus.

“Certain samples recently taken identified some bacterial contamination but we must stress that the bacteria identified is not dangerous to human health.

“Upon identifying this as an issue, the college has taken appropriate action to maintain high levels of hygiene and health and safety across its whole estate.

“As a result, it has been recommended to flush the college’s taps daily to improve water temperatures and system turn over. However, there is currently no treatment of water being undertaken.”

She added: “The college takes its health and safety obligations seriously and will continue to do so. Any suggestion that there is a legionella problem at our New Bedford Road campus is entirely inaccurate and without foundation.”

The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed that it is not investigating the Barnfield site.

Back in 2015, the college launched a three-year development plan where it outlined its vision of moving to a more central Luton location.

To fund this move, it intends to sell its New Bedford Road and Enterprise Way sites which it says are no longer fit for purpose.