Water is not safe to drink or to cook with, officials in New York announced Wednesday, as part of a public health initiative aimed at preventing the spread of Legionnaires’ disease and other respiratory infections.
The state has been testing water for the bacterial infection and disinfection, but the latest tests show no cases of Legionella.
Officials are asking people to stay home from work, and to boil or filter their water.
The city is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to a suspect in the case, said Deputy Mayor James Sommers.
“We will find the person responsible,” Sommer said.
The announcement comes as New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, seeks to get the water disinfected at a meeting with officials and industry representatives Wednesday.
Cuomo has asked the State Health Department to recommend the State Assembly move quickly to approve a ban on bottled water and tap water in the state.
Cuomo, a New Yorker who grew up in Brooklyn, has been critical of the water treatment plant.
He has asked state regulators to delay approval of the plant until it can be evaluated to see if it can keep the bacteria out of the system.
In New York, people should not drink tap water from a tap without using a filter.
At a press conference Wednesday, Sommars said officials expect the Legionella outbreak to remain under control for several more weeks.
“We are continuing to work on this issue, and we will be sharing our best information as we get further information,” he said.
The outbreak has been linked to the New York River and has been blamed on an influx of Legionellae, a bacterium that can cause pneumonia.
The bacteria are also found in tap water and some household goods.