THE BRONX (PIX11) — Legionella was detected in the water supply at the River Park Towers in the Bronx, officials said Wednesday.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene confirmed that residents in the building have gotten sick from Legionnaires’ disease, which is caused by Legionella bacteria and can be fatal for people who are considered at high risk.
Legionella testing was performed by the building on Sept. 21 and Sept. 22, and the health department received the results on Oct. 5, city officials said.
The residents of the complex at 20 Richman Plaza were advised to continue using the water with certain guidelines, according to a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease are in airborne droplets from water systems, so the city warned against showering or using water in any way that can create a mist.
“The health of New Yorkers is our top priority and we are working with the building owner to treat the building’s water system,” a health department spokesperson said in a statement.
Residents who spoke to PIX11 News Wednesday blamed the management of River Park Towers for conditions that led to the emergency.
The property management company of River Park Towers released a statement on Wednesday.
“Our priority is keeping our residents safe,” River Park Residences, LP said in a statement. “We know this is an anxious time, but we are thankful the risk remains very low. We are working in lockstep with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, following their guidance at every stage of this process. We will keep residents informed as we work with health experts on remediation in the coming days.”
Mira Wassef is a digital reporter who has covered news and sports in the New York City area for more than a decade. She joined PIX11 News in 2022. See more of her work here.