According to Erin Clark of NY1 as per a press conference yesterday, there were 3 additional Legionella contaminated sites besides Bronx Housing Court and Bronx County Hall of Justice. The Bronx General Post Office, Samuel Gompers High School and another Verizon building have been identified as contaminated and since been disinfected. This is the first time that a school has tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease which has infected over 100 and killed 10 not including a South Bronx teacher who died in April from the disease.
What do these buildings all have in common? Our drinking supply. Although our reservoirs may be fine and technically when New York City Department of Health tells us that our supply is safe, it does NOT mean that the systems of which it travels through is.
Once our drinking water leaves treatment plans, it enters decades old and corroded water pipes and yes, tens of thousands of water towers across New York City.
Bronx activist and a 2017 candidate for Bronx Borough President Camella Pinkney Price, posted a video regarding the state of our water towers and testimonies by health experts in a report by The New York Times.
According to the New York Times, 12 of 17 of these towers were tested positive for various bacteria (although Legionella was not one of them) indicating that these water towers which we depend on are not as safe as we may think. MILLIONS of New York City residents get their drinking water from these very tanks. The city requires that our water towers are inspected and cleaned but it is not enforced.
Make sure you read the above article as it discusses the neglected conditions of our water towers and the potential for health hazards. Why hasn’t both the New York City Department of Health and The New York State Department of Health inspected these towers as well? Why is the Centers for Disease Control not on the ground taking over New York City’s largest outbreak in its history?
Check out the video below from the New York Times:
Identified contaminated sites (According to DOH all have been disinfected)