NJ health officials seek Mercer volunteers for Legionella testing
On the heels of the widespread discovery of the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease in Hamilton Township, resulting in a handful of cases in humans in the past year that included one death, four more Mercer County municipalities served by Trenton Water Works are being asked to volunteer their homes for testing.
In a flyer circulating this week, the New Jersey Department of Health said it is looking for 30 volunteers whose homes receive their water from that utility across Ewing, Trenton, Lawrence, and Hopewell.
NJDOH did not specify a deadline to apply, but said homeowners would be able to participate at no cost.
Renters are not eligible.
Officials said they are expanding their Legionella testing "to better understand home water systems served by TWW."
Participating homes must have their own dedicated water heater that is not shared with other units.
Legionnaires' disease, a lung affliction that has the potential to cause severe illness in individuals over 50, or who have pre-existing lung or other health conditions, is typically contracted by absorbing or inhaling small water droplets in environments such as showers or hot tubs.
Those interested in volunteering for the sampling can sign up here, or scan the QR code on the flyer. NJDOH said it will contact residents whose homes are selected.
After processing results, health officials said homeowners would receive "personalized recommendations for maintaining your home water system."
NJDOH previously issued recommendations to limit the risk of Legionella exposure during the Hamilton investigation.
Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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