Legislation to Protect Seniors and At-Risk Residents from Waterborne Health Risks Signed into Law

Legislation to Protect Seniors and At-Risk Residents from Waterborne Health Risks Signed into Law

Legislation to Protect Seniors and At-Risk Residents from Waterborne Health Risks Signed into Law (Springfield, IL) — Governor JB Pritzker has signed into law legislation aimed at protecting senior citizens and other at-risks residents in Illinois from waterborne illnesses by requiring water utilities to notify healthcare and senior living facilities of water supply disruptions that could lead to water quality and microbial risks, such as legionella and other pathogens.

While water systems are generally well-managed, disruptions caused by water main breaks, flooding, construction, changes in water treatment, pressure and flow changes can dislodge biofilm in the distribution systems and release bacteria and contaminants downstream to high-risk populations. In required CDC reporting, Illinois typically reports 300 to 500 cases of Legionnaires’ disease annually.

Advertisement
IL GOP Banner

Notifications from water utilities of disruptions as required under HB 4988 helps healthcare facilities to manage the water they receive and protect their occupants from waterborne bacteria such as legionella and other contaminants.

“This legislation is a great step forward in recognizing the need for a comprehensive and proactive approach to preventing Legionnaire’s Disease,” said Brad Considine, the Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease Director of Strategic Initiatives.

“With the Illinois EPA’s recent updated utility water supply management guidelines, Illinois has positioned the state as a national leader in proactive water management and true prevention of legionnaires’ disease.  The new law just signed by Governor Pritzker recognizes that disruptions in water systems can create greater risks from waterborne contagions and it creates an environment where water managers are communicating more closely with healthcare facilities to protect patients and residents.

“It is not the final solution to Legionnaire’s Disease prevention, but it is a significant step forward.”

House Bill 4988 has been signed in law as Public Act 102-0960.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ACT.

Legislation to Protect Seniors and At-Risk Residents from Waterborne Health Risks Signed into Law

Advertisement
Monica Gordon for Cook County Commissioner

Related Articles

Responses

Your email address will not be published.