UAW Center in Pekin combating Legionnaire’s disease, installing shower filters for residents

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PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — UAW Center in Pekin is now installing filtered handheld shower heads for all showers in the facility.

This comes after a one man died from legionnaire’s disease in August. Another resident fell sick with the disease Friday and has since recovered.

In a statement, Donald Bly, the center manager, wrote water samples were collected by the Illinois Department of Health. Adding, the presence of legionella bacteria was identified in various locations throughout the building’s water system indicating the water within UAW Center is contaminated.

“It’s really hard to determine where it came from,” Bly said. “The building is 42 years old I’ve been here 32 years and this is the first that we’ve ever had anything like this so it’s sort of a mystery.”

Bly said the bathroom and kitchen faucets will continue to be unfiltered encouraging residents to only use a stream of water the size of a pencil in those faucets.

The manager said the shower filters will be changed every 30 days, but it is merely a band-aid on the problem. The restrictions and filters will be in place until remediation has been completed and a comprehensive water management plan is solidified.

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