Testing Underway After Possible Legionella Bacteria Found In Westmoreland Manor Water

HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — State health officials are investigating a possible case of Legionella bacteria in the water at a Westmoreland County-owned long-term care and rehab facility.

Additional testing is now underway at Westmoreland Manor in Hempfield Township after a preliminary test found “probably Legionella bacteria” in the facility’s water supply.

According to County Commissioner Gina Cerilli, “On Jan. 24, we got notified by the PA Department of Health there was a potential issue with our water source.”

The Legionella bacteria is the source of the potentially deadly respiratory illness known as Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever.

The bacteria may be present in the Westmoreland Manor tap water, but none of the residents, visitors and the staff have come down with the disease.

The county is also testing other facilities in the area.

While the testing is being done, the nursing facility is using bottled water for drinking, bathing and cleaning purposes.

The restrictions will remain in place for the next two weeks.

“It’s kind of scary,” Hempfield Towers resident Deborah Sonner said.