What is Legionella?
Legionella is a genus of bacteria that can cause a severe respiratory illness called Legionnaires’ disease, as well as a milder flu-like illness known as Pontiac fever. These bacteria are naturally found in freshwater environments, such as lakes and rivers, but they can multiply and become a health concern when they contaminate human-made water systems. Legionella testing is used to identify areas which have been infected with legionella.
What is Legionnaires’ Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal pneumonia contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets from a contaminated source that has allowed the organism to grow and spread.
The most common form of contamination occurs in hot and cold water, such as shower-heads, whirlpools and hydrotherapy baths. Anyone can develop Legionnaires’ disease, but the elderly and those immunocompromised by chronic respiratory or kidney disease are at more risk.
Legionella is a bacterium responsible for causing Legionnaire’s Disease and many other respiratory problems. Legionella thrives in warm, stagnant water where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available.
Therefore, Legionella typically exists at low concentrations in groundwater, lakes, and streams but can proliferate in water systems where temperatures are between 20-45°, including swimming pools, domestic water systems and showers, and whirlpool spas.
Why is Legionella Testing necessary?
- If water systems are left underused or not used for a short period can cause harm to the health of your staff, visitors and customers, i.e. re-openings.
- Businesses must comply with legionella testing and regulations in water. Click here for the national guidelines on the control of Legionellosis by the HSE/HPSC.
- If a case of Legionnaire’s disease is confirmed, the HPSC may investigate the outbreak and take enforcement action if they find that regulations have been violated.
How can your prevent legionella?
Preventing Legionella contamination involves regular maintenance and disinfection of water systems, particularly in large buildings, hospitals, hotels, and other facilities with complex water distribution systems. This involves regular legionella testing.
- Risk Assessment: Southern Scientific can assess the specific risk factors in your water systems that could lead to Legionella growth. This includes evaluating the temperature, pH levels, water stagnation, and other environmental conditions that favour bacterial proliferation.
- Compliance with Regulations: Legionella is a significant public health concern, and outbreaks can occur in settings where the bacteria proliferate in water systems. Therefore, it’s essential to take preventive measures, conduct regular monitoring and legionella testing, and implement effective water treatment protocols to reduce the risk of Legionella contamination and protect public health.
- Expert Recommendations:With our expert advise after testing with a comprehensive report and advise from experienced scientists. After conducting tests and assessments, Southern Scientific can provide expert recommendations tailored to your specific situation. This may include guidance on water treatment, temperature control, disinfection procedures, and system modifications to minimise the risk of Legionella contamination.
- Monitoring and Maintenance Plans: Southern Scientific can assist in developing and implementing ongoing monitoring and maintenance plans for your water systems. Regular monitoring and preventive measures are key to long-term Legionella prevention.
Who Is Legionella Testing Recommended for?
All commercial businesses should routinely test for Legionella and E-coli to demonstrate that bacteria counts are acceptable. However, there is a particular need for the following:
- Hotels, bars, restaurants.
- Gyms and swimming pools.
- GAA and recreational clubs.
- Anywhere the public uses using water for hygiene purposes.
We Perform Legionella Testing For You In 3 Easy Steps – Simple. Clear. Accurate:
- Simple – order the test you need, and we will post your Legionella testing kit.
- Clear – follow the instructions, collect the sample and post it back to us the same day for next-day delivery.
- Accurate – easy-to-understand indicator results will be sent to you by email on day 10. We will report the final result in 14 days.