In the News: Legionnaire’s disease

In March 2019, it was reported that a prison inmate in Stockton died after contracting Legionnaire’s disease, a type of pneumonia spread by waterborne bacteria. We are sorry to hear about this inmate’s passing, and while Cal Water does not serve this correctional facility, we can speak generally to water provided by water utilities to different facilities.

Water utilities must treat, test, and monitor their water supplies to ensure they meet all federal and state water quality standards in order to ensure we can protect public health. Every year, each water utility publishes a water quality report that details any constituents found in the public water supply. We encourage customers to read their local report to better understand their water and measures utilities take to safeguard the water supply. Our customers can obtain their most recent water quality report, also called a Consumer Confidence Report. The 2018 report will be published by the end of May.

Water utilities are responsible for this water to the customer’s meter, after which the customer — whether it be a homeowner, business, or public authority – should take steps to ensure any plumbing systems or devices on their properties are properly maintained. Legionella — the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease — is found naturally in freshwater environments, and can become a health concern when it grows or spreads in building water systems (e.g., cooling towers or hot water tanks).

For our customers, we want to assure you that protecting your health and safety is our highest priority, and we have a proactive, robust infrastructure improvement program and water quality assurance program in place to do so.

More information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.