Legionella Testing, Back to the Basics



Legionella testing is a topic that we talk about all of the time, and it generates the most questions from our customer base and, you know people that we interact with. So, what I like to do, is take a broad line approach and really start back with the basics of Legionella testing. It’s really important to look at what is the purpose of your Legionella testing because that will really orient a strategy. It’s either to validate a Water Management Program, it’s to investigate a potential case, or an outbreak, and anywhere in between, so really, it’s you know, starting out with: what is the purpose? And then, it’s what type of testing do you want to do? There is culture testing, which has long been considered to be the gold standard of the methodologies of Legionella testing. We have qPCR, which is rapidly gaining popularity. So, you have, what type of testing. Then, how often, you know. And then the number of samples, so
those are the key aspects of kind of the Legionella testing program: what is the purpose, what type of testing am I going to use, how often, how many, and we usually like to see people testing quarterly, understanding budgets are different, so you get into semi-annual testing, and we like to see a minimum of 5 tests every testing cycle. You have the incoming water, you have hot water heaters, a distal, medial, and proximal location, which means the furthest from the hot water source, the closest, and then the middle point as well. And then we also get into: can my staff do it? Do I have to have a 3rd party come in? So, then it’s who is going to pull the samples? There really is a broad world when it comes to testing, but with your Legionella consultant they can help you identify those key aspects and walk you through the design and the purpose of your testing program.


What is your current Legionella testing program? Do you have one?