No Legionella bacteria in Point State Park fountain, officials confirm
By Adam Smeltz
Published: Monday, July 8, 2013, 5:03 p.m.
Water tests by the Allegheny County Health Department detected no Legionella bacteria in the landmark fountain in Point State Park, county and park officials confirmed on Monday.
“People should still enjoy the park,” said Dr. Ronald Voorhees, the interim county health director. “We were happy that this was negative.”
Health workers collected samples from the fountain on June 28 because at least one park visitor came down with Legionnaires' disease, a form of pneumonia caused by waterborne Legionella inhaled in water mist. The health department routinely checks for the bacteria in public places that Legionnaires' patients visited before being diagnosed.
Voorhees and park manager Matt Greene said the tests ruled out the park fountain, which recirculates more than 800,000 gallons of water every 45 minutes. The health department alerted park officials to release the test results.
The source of the illness remained unclear. Voorhees said health officials were awaiting results from other locations where water underwent testing.
Meanwhile, park workers are returning chlorine in the fountain to normal levels.They increased the chemical treatments as a short-term precaution last week.
“We'll continue to (treat) every three to four weeks, depending on what we see there,” Greene said.
Adam Smeltz is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at 412-380-5676 or email@example.com.
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