Legionella Testing of Drinking Water and Other Water Sources  

by Pool Builders on 07-13-2014 in Articles

Legionella is found in hot water piping system and is dangerous since it causes Legionnaires' disease which is a serious form of pneumonia and can be deducted through legionella testing. 20° to 50°C is an optimum temperature for Legionella growth when supplied with nutrients such as sediments, rust, boiler scale and biofilms. It is difficult even for an experienced doctor to diagnose Legionella pneumophilia because symptoms and clinical pictures resembles very much to that of a normal pneumonia. Many clinics in the country are well equipped with state of the art molecular biological detection facilities for legionella testing, which have made it easy to detect Legionella and other dangerous pathogenic agents in a very short amount of time. This has helped to take suitable measures at an early stage itself.

Accredited Drinking Water Testing Analysis

An approved drinking water testing laboratory usually takes around 10 days because of legionella's slow growth rate, through conventional microbiological legionella analysis method. The testing method provides quantity result and helps to conclude how badly water is contaminated with legionella.

Legionella affects mostly those people who work with cooling towers, swimming pools and people associated with Hospitals and elderly care centers. It is a big threat to people with lung problem such as smokers and elderly people. If you suspect there is risk of Legionella, get a regular drinking water testing done.

There are many accredited drinking water testing laboratory with proper facilities for legionella testing available. They extend their service for:

€ Cooling Tower water
€ Recycled warm water systems
€ Soils and compost
€ Swimming Pools

Tips to prevent Legionnaires' disease

€ Air-conditioning system should be analyzed monthly
€ Manufacturers and sellers of potting mix and compost should conduct regularly testing program to monitor the risk of their product.
€ Consider regular testing program of warm water circulation system in hospitals, retirement homes.
€ Operators of swimming pools should also conduct routine testing program to keep the check on the growth and spread of the disease.

Legionella is known to contaminate and grow in many kinds of water systems such as hot and cold water service. They have the ability to survive low temperature and can thrive between temperatures 20 to 45° C provided it has got all the right condition to survive and grow such as nutrients like rust, scale, sludge, algae and other bacteria. Since they cannot survive in hot temperature above the 60°C, Hence for building code compliance, water should be stored any temperature above 60°C.

The number of types of sites that need to be tested varies based on case to case basis, to collect the sample. More than one sample should be collected from suspect sources. As a thumb rule any water source that is aerosolized should be considered potential means for transmission of Legionella bacteria. In fact in the entire process water sampling is critical to determine of Legionella bacteria is present or not. To ensure accurate detection of Legionella, proper sample collection methods should be employed.

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