To Test or Not to Test? Legionella Water Testing Explained

Legionella water testing, when part of an ongoing water management plan, can help reduce the risk of spread. Facility owners and managers often wonder if they should be performing routine testing.
By: Hyperion Biotechnology, Inc.
SAN ANTONIO - Dec. 22, 2020 - PRLog -- Building owners may not realize that proactive and reactive Legionella water testing can require different sampling and testing protocols. Proactive testing implements water sampling and testing as part of a water safety management plan. When owners test the building's water system on a regular basis, it validates that all safety measures are working and that Legionella bacteria are not becoming a dangerous problem. Proactive steps such as appropriate temperature, biocide levels, and testing can reduce the risk of the bacteria growing unchecked. If the bacteria spread, it is possible that it will cause harm to people if it is breathed in. Mist from a faucet, shower, fountain, or other water source can spread Legionella in the air. Early identification of the bacteria enables building owners to quickly take action to remove the bacteria from the system before anyone gets sick.

Reactive sampling and testing refer to testing after there is a report of someone becoming sick with Legionnaires' disease. The disease can be deadly if contracted by vulnerable people such as those over 50 years old and others with health issues. While the disease is not spread from person to person, it has the potential to harm many people when spread throughout one building. When there is a report of illness, sampling is more involved to identify the source of the Legionella outbreak. Consequences can be costly. In addition to people becoming sick or dying, costs may include shutting down the building while working to identify the source of the outbreak and then eradicate it from the water system.

"The best approach is a proactive one that protects not only the welfare of residents and staff of a building but also the economic interest of owners," says Hyperion Biotechnology's Legionella testing expert John Kalns. "Building owners do not realize that adding ongoing Legionella water testing to their safety plans is affordable and easy to do. We provide consultation to walk owners or facility managers through the testing process so they can ensure the safety of their building's occupants." Anyone who manages a facility can conduct proactive sampling and then have samples tested for Legionella bacteria.

About Hyperion
Hyperion Biotechnology is an environmental microbiology laboratory specializing in Legionella water testing. Hyperion holds CDC Environmental Legionella Isolation Techniques Evaluation (CDC ELITE) and Environmental Microbiology Laboratory Accreditation Program (EMLAP) certifications. Hyperion is a Woman-Owned and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned small business.

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