A Council is facing prosecution after a customer at it a leisure centre contracted Legionnaire’s Disease.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation was launched two years ago after the incident at Walton-on-the-Naze Lifestyles.

Former serviceman Graham Leach, 68, said he was just hours from death after contracting the illness.

Legionnaire’s is caused by Legionella bacteria, which is found naturally in fresh water and has no preventative vaccine.

Preventing people from contracting the disease depends on the proper maintenance of water systems.

The same bacteria was discovered in the leisure centre’s showers after Mr Leach fell ill.

The former Army corporal suffered pneumonia, blood sepsis and kidney failure.

He was taken to the critical care observation ward and was in hospital for a total of 16 days before he was allowed home.

Tendring Council has been charged over its systems for managing the risk of Legionella at all of its leisure centre sites.

Ian Davidson, the council’s chief executive, reassured residents systems had been changed as a result, working alongside specialist contractors.

He said: “It would be inappropriate for me to comment further about this specific incident and the charge ahead of the court case.

“However, I would once again like to reiterate our apologies to the individual concerned.

“As soon as we became aware of the presence of Legionella bacteria at the new facility at Walton-on-the-Naze Lifestyles we moved to address the issue immediately, with the centre closed for three months while remedial works took place.

“Our investigation was quickly widened to include a review of our systems and practices right across the council and, working alongside the Health and Safety Executive these are now extremely rigorous.

We have been open and transparent throughout this process.”

A hearing will be held at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on December 6.