Water handling systems throughout a facility can create conditions that can harbor or facilitate the growth of water-borne pathogens and increase the risk of human infection. Potable fixtures such as drinking water fountains, ice machines and showers and non-potable fixtures like decorative fountains, condensers and cooling towers may require testing, depending on the specific use of the building.
To reduce the risk of Legionella infection, many buildings are now required to develop a water management plan (WMP) that identifies and tests areas where Legionella might be harbored and grow.
A properly designed WMP provides a proactive model for prevention of Legionella, with an established baseline and schedule for routine environmental testing. Microbac offers analytical expertise in the detection of Legionella and other waterborne pathogens in hospitals and commercial facilities.
Guidelines for reducing the risk of Legionella in water systems are outlined by ASHRAE, a non-profit organization that develops standards for the design, manufacturer and maintenance of building systems. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a tool kit to help you develop a water management program under ASHRAE guidelines to reduce the risk of Legionella growth.
Microbac offers a breadth of testing solutions for the detection and speciation of Legionella and other waterborne pathogens.
Legionella culture – Considered the definitive standard test for Legionella by the CDC. Legionella culture testing identifies viable (living) Legionella species and serogroups.
Legionella qPCR – A rapid DNA based test to identify Legionella species that can be useful when validating Legionella control measures. qPCR can also provide historical documentation of genetic profiles of recovered organisms found in your facility for comparison in an outbreak situation.
Molecular genetic panels – Many times Legionella is not the only pathogen in the system. DNA based testing for multiple waterborne pathogens can provide stakeholders with added information and for risk management.
Other water testing
Trace metal analysis by EPA 200.8 including copper and silver
Field chlorine, field temperature and field pH offered in established service areas
Total coliform and heterotrophic plate count (HPC) testing to be used as indicators of high bacteria levels in the system
In a memo released in June 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) now require hospitals and healthcare facilities to develop policies and a Water Management Plan to inhibit the growth of Legionella in water systems to prevent healthcare associated infections. Healthcare facilities that do not have or properly implement a WMP could be at risk of a non-compliance citation. Read more from the CMS or ASHRAE about testing requirements.
A custom sample kit will be provided for you with the proper bottles for sample collection and easy to follow sampling and return shipping instructions. Sampling and courier services are offered in certain geographies.