Residents at Seneca Tower may not use shower until Friday due to Legionnaires' Disease
Posted at: 10/15/2012 11:26 PM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
Residents at Seneca Tower are told it could be a few more days until they are allowed to shower, after the water tested positive for Legionella bacteria.
People are concerned about family members living at Seneca Towers. On Friday, the water tested positive for the Legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires' Disease.
Residents have not been able to shower since last Friday and on Monday night they received more disappointing news-- they will have to wait a little longer before they can shower at their homes.
About fifty people turned out for the third and final meeting with the health department. They were told that until all of the water test results are in, the water isn't safe for showers.
News10NBC was at Seneca Towers to ask what residents had to say.
Shamquam Hansen-Davis said it was scary to learn the Legionella bacteria had been found in the water at Seneca Towers. Hansen-Davis said, "It makes me nervous, because a lot of people here can simply get a cold and pass away."
It has been his grandmother's home for about six years. He said he was able to rest easier when his grandmother told him what the management was doing to keep people informed and safe. He said, "I'm worried about the situation, but I know my grandmother is going to be on top of keeping herself safe and healthy."
On Monday night, residents were invited to the last of three meetings with the health department, but the news was not much different.
It will still be a while before residents can shower again. Spokesperson for the Monroe County Health Department, John Ricci, said that's the only restriction. Ricci said, "The water is fine for any other use... you can cook with it, you can drink with it, you can use your dishwasher, you can bathe, you can sponge bathe, the only thing you can't do is shower."
The water at Seneca Towers was tested after a resident was diagnosed with Legionnaires' Disease a couple of weeks ago. Last Friday, the water rested positive for the Legionella bacteria. Since then, the health department said the water has been superheated and hyper-chlorinated, similar to what you would find in a swimming pool.
Some of the senior citizens who live at Seneca Towers have been taking sponge baths or going to the local YMCA to take showers. Resident Valerie said, "Well anytime you can't take a shower at your convenience, it's an inconvenience... but I don't believe it's the fault of the building or the management. That's the water supply from our city."
Ricci said residents may have to wait to shower until Friday, but it depends on how quickly the tests come back and if the water is clear of the Legionella bacteria.
The water is safe for drinking and other uses but not for showering. This is because when you take a shower, it creates vapors, which the Legionella bacteria can live in. You can become sick when you breathe in these vapors. For this reason, vapors and humidifiers would also be off limits.