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Auburn Community Hospital lifts water quality protocol after Legionella testing

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Auburn Community Hospital is set to lift its water quality protocol after receiving “favorable test results” concerning concerns of higher levels of legionella bacteria in the water system. The hospital had implemented the protocol in March when initial tests detected elevated levels of legionella, which can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia.

The higher levels of legionella were confined to the hospital’s water system, and other facilities like the Finger Lakes Center for Living remained unaffected. Additional samples were collected and sent to state-approved laboratories for further testing. While waiting for the results, the hospital informed patients and staff of the issue and supplied bottled water. The water system was flushed, and showers were restricted until filters were installed.

On Friday, hospital officials announced that the water protocol, which had been in place for the last month, would end on Monday, April 24. In a memo to hospital staff and state and local agencies, officials wrote, “We are pleased to report that there were no adverse effects on patients, employees or visitors during this extended period of time.”

The memo also stated that the use of bottled water would no longer be necessary as of April 24, and the hospital’s water would be safe to use. Special filters on sinks, showers, and other systems will be removed in the coming days.

Ongoing construction at the hospital is a possible cause of the elevated legionella levels. Multiple projects are underway at the facility, and construction activities can sometimes disrupt water systems.