“Possible presence of Legionella bacteria” found in NYCHA water

Now there’s something different in the water at NYCHA’s Jacob Riis Houses.

City officials say a new round of water tests at the council housing complex – where arsenic was recently discovered – has come back positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease.

A spokesman for the Adams government dropped the development of a bombshell about new potential problems with water supplies to the Jacob Riis homes in a statement released at 11:30pm Wednesday, after most local television news for the night ended were.

“We received new, late results late today from the original vendor who have provided questionable results suggesting the possible presence of Legionella bacteria,” a City Hall spokesman said in a statement just before midnight.

An illustration of Legionnella bacteria.
Legionella bacteria were found in the water of a New York apartment complex.
Getty Images/Science Photo Libra
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A Jacob Riis resident carries crates of drinking water outside the NYCHA complex.
William Farington

“But we suspect these results are inaccurate,” they added.

“Legionella cannot be transmitted via drinking water. In addition, we are actively reviewing our Legionella surveillance data and have not found any reported or confirmed cases of Legionella in Riis Houses over the past 12 months.”

The dangerous bacteria are typically found in water tanks or cooling towers — where water can sit for long periods of time — that are not properly cleaned.

Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan said officials have not found any cases of legionnaires in the complex.

Hours after the revelation, Mayor Eric Adams told reporters Thursday morning that the results – which he described as “questionable” – came from the same lab that originally sent back the positive results for arsenic, sparking fresh furor over the city’s administration its sprawling social housing system.

It began on Sept. 2 when city officials late last week told residents of the sprawling East Village housing project to stop drinking the water after at least one security check came up positive for arsenic.

Officials tested the water after weeks of residents complaining that it was cloudy and dirty.

Pallets of mineral water outside the Jacob Riis Houses
Pallets of mineral water are in front of the Jacob Riis Houses.
James Keivom

Investigative news outlet The City reported late Friday that two sources said the housing authority had two weeks’ notice of the arsenic before notifying residents. NYCHA denied the charges, but the agency has yet to publicly release the water quality testing records.

City Hall also announced late Wednesday that 140 additional tests had been ordered after arsenic revelations came back negative for the toxic compound.

NYCHA’s Federal Monitor announced over the weekend that they are investigating the matter.

https://nypost.com/2022/09/08/possible-presence-of-legionella-bacteria-found-in-nycha-water/ “Possible presence of Legionella bacteria” found in NYCHA water

JACLYN DIAZ

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