Albany, NY (January 17, 2017) – The Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease strongly supports New York State (NYS) Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for increased spending on water infrastructure in 2017 and implores the Governor to allocate funds to specifically address the state’s growing problem with waterborne pathogens, particularly Legionella. The proposed plan would increase state expenditures 1,000 percent from the $175 million allocated for similar projects in 2016. Governor Cuomo’s announcement came on the heels of a Newsday findings of trace elements of 1,4-Dioxane, a suspected carcinogen, throughout Long Island’s public water systems.
“The Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his dedication to investing in our water infrastructure,” Alliance Spokesman Daryn Cline said. “Decaying infrastructure is a major contributor to the proliferation of Legionella bacteria growth. We ask that a portion of these dedicated funds go to helping prevent this bacteria contamination from reaching our homes and businesses by testing our water supplies for various waterborne pathogens, and upgrading the supply lines our water travels through. Funds should also be allocated to improve monitoring of waterborne pathogens in the water supply as well as ensuring it maintains adequate levels of disinfectant.”
It has been found that pathogens in the water supplies are as dangerous as routinely measured and state-mandated water contaminants such as lead and nitrates. Legionella, for example, generally exists in small amounts throughout water systems, but can multiply and flourish in older, sedentary public water systems. Contaminating pathogens are spread throughout our public water supplies and can quickly affect large numbers of people. These pathogens represent as significant a threat as do commonly-tested-for contaminants such as lead and nitrates, but testing is much less frequently mandated.
The Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease comprises public health/medical professionals, building engineers, water treatment professionals and manufacturers of cooling technologies advocating for comprehensive approaches to limit the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria and other waterborne pathogens. For more information about Legionnaires’ disease and the Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease, please visit www.preventlegionnaires.org.