Mining camp shut down after discovery of legionella

A COAL seam gas camp in central Queensland has been shut down after the discovery of the potentially fatal legionella bacteria in its water system.

Santos GLNG has issued a statement confirming one of its oil and gas contractors, Saipem, had found the bacteria during routine tests at a temporary campsite near Bauhinia, south-west of Gladstone.

"Saipem advises that as is standard practice, a follow-up test was conducted to confirm the initial result, and the camp was closed," a Santos spokesman said.

"Following Saipem's standard protocols, the pipes in the camp will be cleaned and treated to kill the bacteria, until which time the camp will remain closed.

"Saipem advises no workers who were at the camp before its closure have reported any symptoms."

Legionnaires disease is a type of pneumonia, and while some people infected with the bacteria can have mild or no symptoms, it can also be fatal. 

Central Highlands Mayor Peter Maguire told the ABC the company had done the right thing by closing the workers' camp.

Cr Maguire said the council had no jurisdiction over the camp, but could be involved in approving plumbing systems.

He said it was fortunate the bacteria had been picked up before any workers contracted symptoms of legionnaires' disease.

"This can have very serious consequences," he said.

"These camps can just be built anywhere in our shires and we have no involvement in the statutory planning process."


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