DC public psychiatric hospital goes without drinking water

U.S. and World

This 1978 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Legionella pneumophila bacteria which are responsible for causing the pneumonic disease Legionnaires’ disease. In a report released Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine said annual cases of Legionnaires’ jumped more than fivefold from 2000 to 2017, and that as many as 70,000 Americans get the disease every year. High-profile recent outbreaks occurred in Atlanta and Flint, Michigan. (Francis Chandler/CDC via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A public psychiatric hospital in the nation’s capital has been without drinking water for more than a week.

News outlets report the bacteria that can cause Legionnaires’ disease was found in the water system last month, leading staff and patients at the District-owned facility to rely on bottled water.

The District Department of Behavioral Health director, Barbara J. Bazron, says no one has shown any signs of illness as a result of the bacteria discovered during a routine water supply test.

Emergency protocols were put into place last week, and staff and patients are now using substitutes for running water, including wipes and body wash spray. It’s unclear when water service will resume.

Despite the problems first reported by the Washington City Paper, St. Elizabeths Hospital continues to admit patients.

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