09/17/19 City of Batavia Update:
The Illinois Department of Health is now investigating the Kane County Fabyan Parkway Bridge construction site as a potential source of the bacteria:
09/15/19 City of Batavia Update:
The Illinois Department of Health has identified two additional cases of Legionnaire’s disease in the community. There continues to be no evidence to suggest the City water supply is either the source of or impacted by these cases. Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Health states a possible source of the recent outbreak at the Holmstad: "Cooling towers emit water plumes, and if there is Legionella bacteria in those water plumes, they are aerosolized. And people can inhale it, and those plumes can extend a mile or two." The Illinois Department of Health investigation is ongoing and the City of Batavia is cooperating and providing all requested information. The City awaits the results of the IDPH investigation. Updates will be provided as information from the Illinois Department of Health is released.
IDPH Press Release
09/09/2019 UPDATE from Kane County Department of Health
Over the holiday weekend news media reported that four residents of Covenant Living at the Holmstad in Batavia have been confirmed to have contracted Legionnaire’s disease. Although the City is unaware of the source of the Legionella, outbreaks are most commonly associated with buildings or structures that have complex water systems, like hotels, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and cruise ships. We have no reason to believe that our public water supply is affected.
Batavia treats water from both shallow and deep wells at our facility on W. Fabyan Pkwy. Part of our treatment process includes the addition of chlorine. Chlorine is used to kill bacteria and other microbes in the water supply to keep it safe for human consumption. The city is required to add sufficient chlorine to ensure that minimum levels are present throughout the system. The city is required to perform testing on a regular basis to measure chlorine levels and we are required to report those test results to the state. For many years the minimum required chlorine residual level in the system was 0.2 parts per million (PPM). On July 25th a new state requirement went into effect which requires a minimum residual level of 0.5 PPM. We have been carefully monitoring our chlorine levels over the past six weeks or so to ensure that we’re complying with the new standard. The City of Batavia Water Department took a sample from the City’s water supply line on the Holmstad property on Friday and it measured 0.9+/- PPM, well-above the state standard.
This situation provides an excellent example of why it is so important for the city to enforce the state’s requirement to have cross-contamination control devices (CCCD) tested on an annual basis. A CCCD prevents water from flowing backward from a private property service back into the public water supply. Property owners are required on an annual basis to have a qualified, licensed plumber inspect and certify that their CCCD is working properly. The city uses a third-party consultant to issue notices and to track test results from all of the CCCD’s in town. If property owners don’t comply, they are given multiple written notices, telephone calls and eventually their water may be shutoff. The City is very aggressive in its enforcement of CCCD inspections. Although the source of legionella bacterium in this case has not yet been identified, this situation demonstrates why we need to be so diligent.