The British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association (BISHTA) has endorsed the recent report from the Health Protection Agency on the Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in Stoke in 2012, emphasising the need to follow the existing guidelines regarding display spas and hot tubs that are already available in the industry.


The guidelines are contained in a range of publications, such as ‘Management of Spa Pools – Controlling the Risk of Infection’ and also ‘Legionnaires’ Disease – The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems – Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (this HSE Code of Practice is also referred to as “L8”).  Every hot tub business site should have a copy of these publications.  Businesses with premises that sell hot tubs should also carry out a risk assessment in accordance with BS 8580, which should be reviewed annually.


BISHTA says that when the guidelines in this publication are followed, these simple but effective rules prevent the tragic circumstances seen in Stoke.  It points out that there has never been an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in a BISHTA member’s showroom.


The key message from BISHTA since its formation has always been “Promoting Safe Spa Water”. By providing water hygiene management training, both BISHTA and its members can ensure that the rest of the industry is aware of their responsibilities for maintaining hot tub water, with an appropriate level of sanitiser (bromine, chlorine or PHMB) to reduce to a minimum the risk of having the legionella bacteria developing into Legionnaires’ Disease.