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Prevent stagnant water by removing old pipes

The July 27 News reported that a spike in Legionnaire’s Disease has baffled local officials. Really? As an architect, now retired, I had the opportunity to work on several projects at the Buffalo VA Medical Center and pretty much know the reason for the spread of Legionnaire’s Disease in Erie and Niagara counties.

When renovating any area at the VA Medical Center that may have had a sink or drinking fountain that was to be relocated, I was instructed by facilities planning that any piping that served that fixture had to be removed and capped back to the main run to prevent stagnant water, which could remain in the pipe that serviced that fixture, from developing a high bacteria count that could spread back into the potable water supply.

In the private sector, any water that is used by residents for recreation, i.e. hot tubs, pools and spas, can develop bacteria without proper treatment of the water if left for long periods of time.

If you leave your garden hose connected to your potable water supply outside, it may be good to shut off the water valve and drain the hose after watering to prevent siphoning back into the main water supply.

With higher than normal temperatures and standing water left untreated, you in effect provide a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Consult with the Health Department for proper treatment methods and equipment cleaning if filtration devices are included in the system.

Charles Carter

Akron