water 060122SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel championed a new law requiring public water supply operators to notify all health care facilities served by the public water supply of a water disruption event.

“The loss of clean water can create a dangerous environment for patients at hospitals and other health care facilities,” said Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood). “Since Legionnaire’s disease can thrive in water pipes, it’s vital that we take preventative measures so the illness isn’t contracted and spread in the case of a water disruption event.”

Under Loughran Cappel’s law, water supply operators must send notices between 15 and 30 days before any planned water supply disruption event or within two hours after any unplanned disruption event to health care facilities, as well as to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Public Health. Operators must also post a notice on their website or social media page, if one exists.

While health care facilities have water management plans already in place to mitigate issues such as legionella bacteria, knowing about water supply disruptions on a timely basis makes mitigation processes more effective in safeguarding vulnerable individuals.

“It’s important to enforce these notices so we can prevent legionella bacteria in the water pipes of hospitals,” said Loughran Cappel. “This new law will ensure there is a plan in place at our health care facilities in case of a water disruption.”

The law, originally House Bill 4988, was signed Friday and takes effect immediately.