GROSS NEGLIGENCE: Legionnaires’ Found In Drinking Supply at Melrose Houses NYCHA Development


Since the beginning of New York City’s largest Legionnaires’ outbreak in history which infected hundreds and killed 13 individuals in The South Bronx (including a teacher who worked in the area who passed away in April), Welcome2TheBronx has been insisting that the city tests our drinking water supply systems since study after study and the EPA and CDC clearly indicate that the majority of cases originate within such systems.

Now, two weeks after the outbreak was declared by Department of Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett as contained, the drinking water supply systems at one NYCHA building at Melrose Houses at 681 Courtlandt Avenue has tested positive for Legionella where 4 people have become ill including one before the “official” outbreak.

The population in The South Bronx is particularly susceptible to Legionnaires due to numerous underlying negative health conditions that are aggravated or caused by pollution.

We have been reporting the scientific facts about this deadly yet curable disease since the beginning. Facts and data found on the EPA, CDC, OSHA, websites.

At the first town hall meeting, we confronted Commissioner Bassett with these facts and data and whether or not the drinking water supply systems had been tested.

Dr Bassett not only agreed with the data we presented that the majority of the Legionnaires’ cases are caused by drinking water supply systems but went on to say that they (DOH) didn’t feel it was necessary to test the drinking water supply and that it was safe.

How is it possible that the drinking water supply systems can be declared safe yet they hadn’t been tested—until now?

Now we have a building who’s drinking water supply systems have tested positive for Legionella, where people were sickened and the city continues to tell people that there’s nothing wrong?

Is it a coincidence that two weeks ago NYC’s drinking water tasted funny and it was because New York City Department of Environmental Protection flushed our systems with extra chlorine to kill any bacteria? An anonymous agent for the agency said that this is routine in warmer months but how come haven’t residents noticed this before and in prior years?

This is simply gross negligence irresponsible of the city not to test our drinking water systems as indicated by medical health care professionals.

How many more people must die or get sickened before the city admits incompetence and tests our systems?

This is a ball that should never have been dropped by the city.

Read more:

Medical & Public Health Experts Insist That Water Supply Should Have Been Tested; Virtually All Cases Stem From Drinking Supply

Legionnaires’ Death Toll Rises to 4; Number of Infected Now at 71 Cases—Is NYC Doing Enough?

Bronx Town Hall Meeting on Legionnaires’ Left More Questions Than Answers About NYC’s Largest Outbreak in its History

Welcome2TheBronx coverage on Legionnaires’ Disease

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.