The water system was put in place to keep residents safe from Legionnaires’ disease, which sickened 53 people and led to 12 deaths at the Illinois Veterans Home last year. The system provides safeguards against legionella bacteria, which causes Legionnaires’ disease, and other waterborne organisms

During the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, which started in August 2015, the Illinois Veterans Home shut down water sources, including water fountains and cooling towers, and used bottled water for cooking, drinking and bathing.

Water from the Quincy water system enters the treatment plant, where it’s tested and treated with additional disinfectant chemicals each day. It then travels to individual buildings and is heated to 165 degrees to kill bacteria. Mixing valves cool the water before it’s released within the building’s water system.