LOCAL NEWS

Water Restrictions At An Assisted Living Facility After Two Contract Legionnaire’s Disease

Apr 25, 2019, 10:49 PM

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — An assisted living facility in Taylorsville has implemented a no tap water policy, at the recommendation of the health department, after two of its residents contracted legionnaire’s disease.

“The last month has been… very unsettling,” said Norma Soderborg Harris, a resident at Legacy House of Taylorsville.

There’s no question living without running tap water can make life difficult. Yet, Harris can think of no better place to be than at the facility.

“I love it here. It is to me the perfect place. If you have to be in a facility, it’s here.”

On Thursday signs hanging in rooms, bathrooms and above drinking fountains warned residents not to use the water. For more than a week the staff has provided water bottles for drinking, washing and bathing.

“We can’t shower,” Harris said. “We can’t do anything that uses water.”

“We’ve had to ask for a lot of patience from them,” Executive Director Nathan Cluff said. “This is their home. This is where they live.”

In early April, Cluff says one of his 80 assisted living residents contracted legionnaire’s disease. Then last Tuesday, the Salt Lake County

Health Department notified Cluff that a second resident had caught the disease. That’s when the facility was advised to stop all tap water use.

“We want to make sure that all of our residents are safe,”Cluff said, “that they aren’t showering first and foremost in water that could be contaminated and breathing in that vaporized air.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease comes from the bacterium legionella, which is found in water but can only spread by breathing in mist that’s contaminated with the bacteria.

Symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath and fever.

“It basically shuts down your lungs so you can’t breathe,” said Steve Madsen, owner of Legionella Specialties. Legacy House hired the company last week to remediate the legionella bacterium from its facility.

“We’re looking for spots where the water would be turned into aerosol, like a shower head, a fountain, a hot tub. It can even be a drinking fountain or a sink in a room,” Madsen said.

Seven other residents have been tested for the disease out of an abundance of caution. But the results have come back negative.

“Out of an abundance of precaution we’re going to implement these water restrictions just to make sure we keep people safe until the problem’s been remediated,” Cluff said.

Until then, it’s an inconvenience that Harris seems willing to live with.

“Hope it’s over with soon,” she said.

Even after she says she warmed up water bottles in the microwave in order to take a shower.

“I can’t say it’s been happy experiences, but it’s been a learning experience,” she said. “They’ve done everything they can to help us to do it.”

Health officials say the case at Legacy House of Taylorsville is not unusual for these type of facilities. Madsen says he expects the facility will be completely disinfected by Friday morning.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

police cars in a casino parking lot...

Shelby Lofton

Armed man leads officers from multiple agencies through three states during pursuit

An armed man police said is a convicted felon led officers on a chase through multiple states, starting in St. George, Utah.

4 minutes ago

Tim Ballard...

Lindsay Aerts

Wife of Tim Ballard responds to questions of husband’s church standing

SALT LAKE CITY — The wife of Tim Ballard issued a statement Monday afternoon saying she and her husband are cooperating with their local religious leaders. Katherine Ballard, Tim Ballard’s wife, said they are “in touch” with their ecclesiastical leaders. Tim Ballard asserted two weeks ago he was a faithful member in good standing with […]

18 minutes ago

Alta snow...

Shara Park

Monday’s storm brings inches of snow to resorts, rain to valley

From heavy rain in the valley to snow in the mountains, it has been a wild day for Utah weather.

55 minutes ago

Grantsville High School in Grantsville, Utah. (Google Earth Pro)...

Larry D. Curtis

Grantsville High school: ‘Please know everyone is safe’

A heavy police presence at Grantsville High School was an indication of a threat but the school posted on its Facebook page that "everyone is safe."

2 hours ago

white plane in pieces on dry brown terrain...

Larry D. Curtis

Family killed in Utah plane crash landed to refuel near Moab

The North Dakota family that was killed in an Utah plane crash Sunday, flew into Canylonlands Field Airport, near Moab, refueled and left again before the family of four was killed.

3 hours ago

A welcome message to patients from the Receiving Center. (Huntsman Mental Health Institute)...

Brianna Chavez and Mary Culbertson

Mental health receiving center revamped, now open in Salt Lake City

The Huntsman Mental Health Institute's Receiving Center opened again to the public after being revamped with new services and more space. While located on the University of Utah campus, the center opens it's doors to anyone that needs it, 24/7.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...

DAYS OF '47 RODEO

Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Water Restrictions At An Assisted Living Facility After Two Contract Legionnaire’s Disease