Jan 16, 2018

Illinois to Replace Plumbing at Legionella-Plagued Veterans Home

Following a week long stay at the facility, Gov. Rauner announced plans to replace the piping systems and change the groundwater source

Illinois makes plans to overhaul plumbing at Quincy, Ill., veterans home

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced plans to build a new plumbing system at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, Ill., following repeated outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, a waterborne illness that has proved fatal at the home. The outbreak has resulted in the death of 13 residents, the illness of more than 60 residents and employees, and 11 lawsuits against the state for negligence. The facility has already undergone extensive water treatment upgrades, but the disease has continuously resurfaced and officials worry more needs to be done.

The governor announced the water treatment system upgrade following a week long stay at the veterans home. Prior to a joint legislative hearing held Jan. 9 regarding the outbreaks, the governor stayed at the home to gain a deeper understanding of the water treatment and monitoring practices currently in effect.

“The goal is, latest technology on material, latest technology on water flow. We do not want any places where any water could be standing for any period of time,” said Gov. Rauner at a press conference following his stay.

Moving forward, the state plans to gather a group of experts to determine if a safer groundwater source is available. The cost of replacing the plumbing is estimated at $30 million, according to Erica Jeffries, director of veterans’ affairs.