Legionnaires’ Disease at the Playboy Mansion

In Healthy Water by Steve DonohoeLeave a Comment

The Grotto at the Playboy Manison in L.A

Let’s discuss the “infamous” Chapter Four of the Pool & Spa Operator Handbook by the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

When we study this chapter in our CPO class, we go over all the known pathogens found in swimming pools and their associated illnesses and diseases.  We categorize these pathogens as “enteric” (intestinal) or “nonenteric,” and we discuss how humans contract them.   One of the nonenteric diseases found in swimming pools and spas is Legionellosis (Legionnaires’ disease).  In February 2011, over 120 people got sick at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles.  When the local health department got involved, they discovered traces of  Legionella pneumophila (the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease). Check out the L.A. Times story.

The Spa in the Playboy Grotto where they found Legionella pneumophila.

You do not even have to get into the water to get this disease –“its transmitted by the mists (breathable droplets) produced by spa aeration or by spray features,” as explained on page 41 of chapter four in the CPO book.

And the CPO material continues by laying out the solution:  “Normal disinfectant levels and frequent filter maintenance are necessary to control these bacteria.”

So the message is clear: make sure you service the spa and it’s filter and KEEP CHLORINE in it!

AND maybe Mr. Hefner should hire a Certified Pool/Spa Operator who knows about these diseases, knows how to maintain the spa and WILL watch out for his (and his guest’s) health and safety!…..do ya think?!


When we did our classroom set up this past Thursday and Friday, May 19-20 at PoolCorp’s Superior Building in Anaheim, we added some new equipment.

We always critique our classes, looking  for ways to improve the presentation, the hospitality and such.   And since the classes in Anaheim are getting larger, we decided to add an electronic white board and a small sound system, so that everyone could see and hear the presentation a little better.  Plus, we created a vinyl banner for the front of our speaker stand (shown here)….do we look “official” now?  Maybe?

Thanks, again, PoolCorp-Superior Anaheim for having us and for your hospitality.  And a special thanks to Brian and John for carrying our equipment upstairs.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.