Feds reimburse $4M for downstate veterans home water system

QUINCY — The federal government is reimbursing Illinois more than $4 million for a new water treatment facility at a Quincy veterans home that was the site of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday said the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was awarding the money to the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which would reimburse the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. An outbreak of the disease killed 12 people and sickened at least 54 in 2015 and a federal report found the bacteria was likely spread by an aging water system.

The bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease grow in warm water and are often present in water supplies. The disease is spread when a person inhales water mist.

The Quincy facility houses about 400 residents. The water treatment facility construction is to be finished this month.

–Associated Press

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