City Addresses Legionella Concerns in Hasting hospital

HASTINGS, Mich.--The water is safe to drink. That message coming from the city of Hastings and the Barry county health department today.

Citizens there alarmed after a potentially deadly bacteria was found in the local hospital’s water supply this week.

Patients tell Fox17's Candese Charles they want answers.

While city officials say they are confident that the city's water supply is safe.

"It's the same thing that happened in Flint, it's the same thing that happened in Barry County," says Marci Davis, a patient at the hospital.

Patients responding to the shocking news Thursday, the bacteria, legionella is in the hospital water system.

"That's not the place to have in the hospital we already have sick people in there," says Joel Davis, Hastings resident.

The hospital’s water was tested after a two cases of legionnaire's surfaced and test results came back positive.

"Something like this is always scary so but as I said I want to reassure the citizens of Hastings that our water supply, again tested daily, and we have no evidence that there's any contamination within our system," says Jerry Czarnecki, city of Hastings.

Hastings provides a clean water supply to the hospital system but back flow preventers protect the city supply from ingesting contaminated water.

"We test our system daily and we have in the sites in question we have backflow protectors that allow the water to not come back out so we were confident that those we working fine and the water here in Hastings has no concerns," says Czarnecki.

Test results were reported after two patients were diagnosed with legionnaire’s disease, one of them died. The hospital says it is still unknown if the water supply is related to the two cases.

"You feel bad for the families, you know, but I just think it could happen anywhere," says Charlene Cheney, patient

Others say the contamination should have never happened in the first place.

"Fix it! Find out what happen to begin with and don't do it again!

A spokesman from Spectrum Health tells us that they are hard at work installing filters and purification system.

"In a hospital you have bacterias happening all the time so, I mean, they have their systems that are in place and I'm confident that they are doing what they're supposed to be doing but on our end, as far as the City is concerned, our water supply is safe,"  says Czarnecki.

So again the city water is ok to drink.

Now legionnaire’s is contracted through infected water droplets breathed into the lungs, the disease can be serious but is treatable with antibiotics.

Both the health department and hospital say they are continuing to monitor the water supply to the hospital.

But we are told there will be no further updates until Sunday.

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