Legionella (Legionnaires' Disease & Pontiac Fever)
Legionnaires' disease and Pontiac fever are collectively known as legionellosis, a disease caused by Legionella bacteria. Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems such as building premise plumbing and cooling towers (structures that contain water and a fan as part of centralized air-cooling systems for building or industrial processes). Legionella can continue to persist in the water system unless proper steps are taken to prevent the growth of bacteria.
The Township of Hamilton Division of Health monitors and investigates cases of Legionnaires' disease within the Township. Most cases of Legionnaires' disease occur in New Jersey between the months of July and October, usually peaking in August. If you are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness, please speak with your medical provider.
The Hamilton Township Division of Health and NJDOH recruited homeowners from Hamilton Township to voluntarily have their homes tested for Legionella. Water samples collected from more than half of the homes served by Trenton Water Works (TWW) identified the presence of Legionella, including in samples of the cold water entering homes. It is possible for Legionella to enter buildings and homes when receiving treated drinking water. However, health officials are concerned about the number of homes with Legionella in areas serviced by TWW. There is concern that Legionella may be present in other buildings and homes in the area, particularly in the areas of Hamilton Township served by TWW.
For more information, please contact the Division of Health at 609-890-3884.
Take Steps to Reduce Legionella Growth in Your Home or Building
- Legionnaires Disease and Your Household Water (PDF)
- Maintaining and Reopening Building Water Systems Impacted by Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation (PDF)
- Maintaining Building Water Systems Prevents Legionnaires Disease (PDF)
Stay Informed & Learn More About Legionnaires' Disease
- Legionnaires Disease Public Health Factsheet (PDF)
- NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) - Legionella
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - Legionella
- NJDOH Legionella Factsheet for the Workplace (PDF)
- Hamilton/NJDOH Press Release - August 2022
The Division is not actively conducting additional home water sampling at this time, except for cases of Legionnaires' disease. Also, the Division does not recommend testing your home/building for the legionella bacteria. If you choose to conduct private testing, it is recommended that you use a CDC ELITE lab.