The Kingsway nursing home in Schenectady, New York conducted routine and mandated testing for the presence of Legionella bacteria. On November 23, 2016, the results indicated that 30 percent of the water samples were positive for non-pneumonic Legionella.
The facility flushed the pipes with scalding hot water (160 degrees) to kill off the bacteria momentarily while it arranges for a long-term solution. The strain of Legionella found at the facility is not typically responsible for Legionnaires’ disease, but could possibly cause pneumonia or other illnesses.
New York State regulations require that nursing homes test their potable water and report results if more than 30 percent of the locations sampled show positive for any Legionella, and subsequently must take corrective action. Daryn Cline of the Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease believes that testing should be required beyond health care facilities, and should be tested for in the water mains before it travels into the building.
Cline also says, that construction or repair work of any kind could allow for water contamination with Legionella bacteria. Shaking from construction could knock biofilm loose where Legionella bacteria live, and thus releasing it to flow throughout the water system. A long term solution for Kingsway to better manage its water will be decided in the next couple of weeks.
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Jules Zacher is an attorney in Philadelphia who has tried Legionnaires’ disease cases across the U.S. Please visit LegionnaireLawyer.com again for updates