Legionella Bacteria Testing
Legionella bacteria naturally occurs in freshwater environments such as lakes and streams. It can also reproduce in large numbers in places that house water, that include plumbing systems, hot water tanks, whirlpool spas, cooling towers, large air conditioning systems, and even decorative fountains. Legionella bacteria can thrive in a temperature range of 80-122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Legionella bacteria becomes a threat to public health when it reproduces in these types of man-made water systems.
People who breathe in water droplets contaminated with Legionella bacteria are susceptible to Legionnaires’ Disease or Pontiac Fever, a serious and sometimes fatal infection. Legionnaires Disease can manifest in muscle aches, headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, and coughing, followed by high fever, pneumonia, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
Because the bacteria can reside in facilities where the population is vulnerable to infection (hospitals, critical access hospitals, nursing homes) the Minnesota Department of Health & Human Resources: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services mandate testing protocol for conditions in which Legionella bacteria may thrive and grow. However, exposure to Legionella bacteria is not limited to these facilities and can be found virtually anywhere. As such, IEA provides testing, sampling, analysis, and reporting services that can assist with identifying the presence and threat of Legionella bacteria in a facility’s water systems
About IEA’s Legionella Bacteria Testing Services
Founded in 1984, IEA is an environmental health and safety consulting firm based in the Upper Midwest. We offer Legionella bacteria testing, water system sampling, and reporting for facilities such as schools, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient facilities, veterans’ homes, and other residential and medical facilities.
Monitoring water quality parameters can ensure that water systems are maintained in a way that minimizes hazardous conditions that could encourage Legionella and other waterborne pathogens to flourish. IEA provides a range of services that assist facilities in identifying potential Legionella bacteria contamination.
Testing Program Development
IEA works inn partnership with a facility’s plumbing, maintenance, or health and safety team, IEA works to locate contamination within a building’s systems. We will help identify:
- Optimal testing locations to ensure we are testing areas where Legionella bacteria is typically found.
- Sampling protocol to extract samples that are true and not compromised by outside contaminants that would alter results.
- Program management document development to coordinate planning, execution, and control of testing and sampling.
- Technical reporting on results to enable facilities to proceed with an actionable plan for cleanup.
Water System Sampling
To maintain compliance, our team of technical environmental professionals will assist facilities with water sampling for testing purposes. We do so in accordance with guidelines and protocols set forth by the CDC, ASHRAE, Health Department, and CMS.
- Samples collected by IEA’s team of technical environmental professionals are analyzed using an Environmental Legionella Isolation Techniques Evaluation (ELITE) Program Laboratory.
- IEA will monitor set parameters for water quality to identify ideal conditions in which bacteria may exist or grow. These include temperature, free chlorine and pH levels.
- IEA will provide dedicated oversight of system sampling through strict management of sampling locations and mapping documentation.
Once sampling and testing are complete, IEA follows up with accurate reporting based on the individual client’s needs and requirements. From start to finish, IEA provides facilities with the tools needed to ensure regulatory compliance and facility integrity with thorough testing and reporting of results. Reporting includes:
- Site observations
- Laboratory results
- Specific reporting needs as required by individual clients.
Testing, analysis, and accurate reporting are critical to keeping your facility free of Legionella bacteria and preventing an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease among residents, visitors and employees.
Contact IEA today toll-free at 800.233.9513 to ensure the safe and healthy environment you want to maintain in your facility.