U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs James J. Peters VA Medical Center
Legionella Control and Testing
Tap water within the hospital is tested for Legionella quarterly. We have been testing the tap water for the last 4 years. Our latest test results indicate that we have no Legionella in the hospital. This water is treated using two monchloramine systems, one feeds the CLC and the other feeds the Main Hospital. The monochloramine levels are monitored on a continuous basis.
The cooling towers are treated using a dual biocide system. Chlorine is added on a daily basis and Isothiazolin is added twice per week. Our cooling towers are approximately 2 years old. We have been treating them since they were installed. Biocide concentrations are monitored by a third party consultant on a monthly basis. The last test for Legionella in the cooling tower was negative (meaning, no Legionella). Legionella samples will be collected from the cooling towers quarterly along with our tap water samples.
The following information and fact sheets are provided by our Infectious Disease staff:
- CDC - Legionella Facts
- Legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaires' disease or Pontiac fever, collectively known as legionellosis.
- The bacterium was named after an outbreak in 1976, when many people who went to a Philadelphia convention of the American Legion suffered from this disease.
- An estimated 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease each year in the U.S.
- Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in warm water.
- Legionella bacteria are not transmitted from person to person.
- People get Legionnaires' disease or Pontiac fever when they breathe in a mist or vapor (small droplets of water in the air) that has been contaminated with Legionella bacteria.
- Keeping Legionella bacteria out of water is the key to preventing infection.
- Most people with Legionnaires' disease will have pneumonia (lung infection) since the Legionella bacteria grow and thrive in the lungs.
• NY City Department of Health Legionnairesí Disease Frequently Asked Questions
• South Bronx Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak Frequently Asked Questions and Answers