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Disneyland Shuts Down Cooling Towers Due To Legionnaires’ Outbreak

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, California © Susanne Neal | Dreamstime



The so-called “happiest place on earth” isn’t quite so happy these days. Disneyland, the massive theme park in Anaheim, Calif., has been forced to shut down two of its cooling towers due to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. According to this CNN story, up to 12 people have gotten sick, and an official with Disneyland says the park conducted a review and found elevated levels of the Legionella bacteria in two of its 18 towers.

The park says it has disinfected the two cooling towers and brought them back online in early November, but have since shut them down again pending more testing results.

FMs concerned about elevated levels of Legionella in their own buildings can consult a new ANSI/ASHRAE standard, 188-2015, Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems. This FacilitiesNet article provides a good primer on the standard and also explains legal issues FMs may have to deal with should their buildings cause an occupant to get sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 10 people who contract Legionnaires’ disease die. In 2015, there were about 6,000 reported cases of the disease, though many cases go unreported since symptoms resemble those of other sicknesses.

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on the how sustainability and resilience complement each other.

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