A 2019 Otago University study report has revealed New Zealand to have the world’s highest number of reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella bacteria in plumbing infrastructure in buildings pose a serious risk to public health.
- Mandatory Legionella testing and management of plumbing systems is a matter of urgency in light of the new data, which showed that 22 percent of reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease were caused by water borne strains of Legionella bacteria.
- Any regime must include regular water testing and maintenance programmes.
- The Government to implement mandatory Legionella testing for all private and public high risk facilities in New Zealand.
- High-risk facilities to be required to have nationally-consistent maintenance programmes in place to minimise the risk of bacteria and treat any detected contamination.