Poorly Maintained Plumbing Often Leads to Legionnaires’ Disease, CDC Says

As New York City struggles to contain an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, two new U.S. government reports show the bacteria that causes the potentially deadly illness can take root in a myriad of water sources.

Those sources can include poorly maintained hot tubs, water fountains and cooling towers, the researchers said.

“The variety of settings and water sources implicated in the Legionella outbreaks reported here highlights the complexity of Legionella control . . . particularly in settings where susceptible persons congregate, such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other health-care settings,” Karlyn Beer, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues wrote.

The New York investigation has pinpointed cooling towers used for air conditioning as the source of more than 100 illnesses and 12 deaths in the South Bronx. But across the nation, improperly treated drinking water accounts for a rising proportion of outbreaks, the CDC team said in one of their two reports.

Two-thirds of 32 outbreaks of drinking water-related illness reported in 2011-2012 were traced toLegionella bacteria — twice the figure documented in 2007-2008, the researchers said.

Improperly maintained building plumbing and private groundwater — not publicly regulated water supplies — were the culprits in those 2011-2012 outbreaks, according to the agency. Fourteen deaths and more than 430 illnesses occurred from Legionella in that period.

“The key to preventing these outbreaks is maintenance of building plumbing systems,” according to Beer and her colleagues. Beer’s group conducted both studies published in the Aug. 14 issue of theMorbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a CDC publication.

Outbreaks often occur in hospitals or health-care facilities, “illustrating the disproportionate disease burden among hospitalized persons, who are more likely to be older or have underlying conditions that increase their risk of developing Legionnaire’s disease,” the team said in background notes.

A type of pneumonia, Legionnaire’s disease strikes vulnerable people, especially the elderly and those with other underlying medical conditions, the hardest. It can cause coughing, wheezing and breathing problems, but it is not spread from person to person. It is typically treated with antibiotics, according to the CDC.

Identifying and correcting flaws in plumbing systems, private wells and contaminated groundwater supplies could prevent many outbreaks and illnesses, the authors noted.

New York officials and legislators are already working on tougher laws and regulations for cooling towers in response to the outbreak there.

In the second report, the researchers said Legionella bacteria caused 15 of 18 outbreaks and 10 deaths associated with environmental or undetermined water exposures in 2011-2012.

Four outbreaks occurred in hotels and motels, three in hospital settings and three in long-term care facilities. An office, a factory and a mobile home park also experienced outbreaks, the findings showed.

Ornamental fountains were implicated in three of the outbreaks, the researchers found.

Maintenance of water systems — including drinking water systems, hot tubs, decorative fountains and cooling towers — is necessary to prevent Legionella and other bacteria from growing, the study authors said.

Green Apple Plumbing Recommends Annual Water Heater Maintenance—Why?

Green Apple Plumbing  is recommending you get annual water heat maintenance today, but why? Well, it’s quite easy: if you forego annual maintenance, disaster can strike with your water heater in ways you wouldn’t even imagine. You can’t afford to have your water heater die on you when you need hot water the most, especially during the winter.

Green Apple Plumbing is here to offer top-notch water heater maintenance that keeps the hot water flowing in your home for all plumbing fixtures. However, if you’re not staying on top of things, your water heater may be beyond repair. Don’t waste time by ignoring maintenance. Get it now and have guaranteed hot water for the rest of the year!

Why Does Green Apple Plumbing Recommend Maintenance?

If you choose not to have a maintenance check from a professional, it could be a costly mistake you’ll regret for a long time. Here‘s why Green Apple Plumbing recommend you get it done before it’s too late:

  • Sediment and Debris Buildup: Make sure to drain a quarter of your water heater tank regularly. Your water heater can become contaminated by sediment or debris, which can increase in amount when left untreated. Your hot water should ideally be clear and safe to consume, but sediment and debris in the water can seriously impact your health.
  • Water Pressure and Temperature Regulation: Green Apple Plumbing can test the temperature-pressure valve, which will let you know how well it’s working to regulate water pressure and temperature in the water tank.  If you notice any leaks coming from the valve, then it it’s time to call a professional for help.
  • Save Costs on Energy: With annual maintenance, you can save money and lower energy costs. When a water heater starts weakening, it needs to rely on more energy to churn out hot water, which can send the costs of your energy bills upward and leave you scraping the bottom of the piggy bank to pay for your water heater. Water heater maintenance in NJ from a licensed professional like Green Apple Plumbing is a huge step in conserving energy and keeping costs at an all-time low.

Contact like Green Apple Plumbing today for a plumber in NJ to conduct annual maintenance on your water heater today! It will be wisest choice you make!