“We are notifying you that during routine testing of the hot water systems at Kennett High School, a positive test result for Legionella bacteria was confirmed.”
The school has since taken action by contacting the Chester County Health Department and is working with an environmental remediation firm to clean up the bacteria. They have also discontinued use of the boiler room spigot which received the positive test results, as well as showers. Luckily as of now no one has been tested positive or is showing symptoms of sickness, such as Legionnaires disease.
The Presence of Legionella Bacteria in a High School hot water system, stresses the importance of regular testing.
The school sent out a press release and updated their website to notify the community about the situation. With a detailed questions and answers section, they did a great job of trying to ease the minds of the parents and better educate their readers about Legionella and Legionnaires disease. With no reported cases as of now and the school taking remediation steps, there is a good chance that they caught it before it would have been a much larger issue.
Regular testing for Legionella in public water systems can prevent sickness and shorten down-times vs when an outbreak occurs.
As the weather warms up the environment for Legionella becomes prime, the bacteria thrives in warm water. Any source of water can become infected, some of the more common water systems are, cooling towers and evaporative coolers, water heaters and potable water systems, decorative fountains, recreational whirlpools and hot tubs, ice machines, shower heads and even drinking fountains. Due to many common use items and places being a prime target for Legionella, regular testing, especially where high-risk populations could be exposed, is very important to ensure a clean water system. If you do have a problem with Legionella it is better to catch it sooner before it becomes a threat to your health.