Legionella Testing Services
Mold & Bacteria Consulting Laboratories (MBL) provides lab testing services for Legionella bacteria, the causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease. MBL is CDC ELITE certified and accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) for Legionella laboratory testing. We also provide a short Legionella Training Course.
Legionnaires’ disease is contracted through inhalation of water vapour or mists that have been contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Legionella bacteria grow naturally in water throughout the environment. Warm (between 20 and 50°C) and stagnant water provides favourable conditions for Legionella growth.
About 50 known species of Legionella are seriously harmful or even deadly to humans. They tend to live in warm lakes, streams and rivers but can also live in:
- Surface water, mud and thermally polluted lakes and streams
- Hot water tanks, cooling towers, evaporative condensers, humidifiers and holding tanks
- Decorative fountains, ultrasonic mist machines, whirlpool bath
- Spas, respiratory therapy equipment, showers, water faucets, technical-medical equipment
- Fire sprinkler systems, safety showers and industrial process equipment
- Damp potting soil
The most common, Legionella pneumophila sero Group 1, is what causes Legionnaires’ disease – a dangerous form of pneumonia.
So if you’re involved with Legionella monitoring programs or Legionella outbreak control, you want to know what you’re dealing with.
We’ll tell you what your Legionella situation is.
We’re a licensed laboratory with well-characterized and validated methods. We’re accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA), and certified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for Legionella testing through the Environmental Legionella Isolation Techniques Evaluation (ELITE) Program.
Book a Legionella Water Sampling
We go the water route rather than the air route for accuracy. Also, a water test will better indicate the potential risk for exposure.
Non-Potable Systems – Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers: Samples can be collected in a sterile 500 mL bottle containing sodium thiosulfate. When collecting from the reservoir the bottle should be inverted under the water and moved in a single direction. Try not to collect excess sediment in the water samples.
Decorative Fountains, Hot Tubs, Fire Sprinkler Systems, Cisterns and Humidifiers: Samples should be collected in a 500 mL bottle containing sodium thiosulfate. Include water from the bottom and near the sides of the reservoir.
Hot Water Systems. Two samples should be taken when sampling a hot water system: a pre-flush sample and a post-flush sample. When collecting the pre-flush sample, turn the hot water tap on immediately and collect the first 300 mL of water containing sodium thiosulfate. Sinks, showerheads, hoses or the bottom of a hot water tank are all places samples can be taken. When collecting the post-flush sample, allow the water to run for one full minute or until the water sample is hot then collect the sample in a 300 mL bottle containing sodium thiosulfate. By pulling two samples you can determine if the contamination is at the fixture or from the supplied water in the plumbing lines.
Cold Water Systems. Cold water systems can be analyzed by collecting the first draw sample. Drinking fountains, faucets and shower heads are the best outlets from which to sample. Collect 300 mL of water in a sterile container containing sodium thiosulfate.
For testing Legionella in domestic waters such as drinking water, water coolers, chillers, eye washers, etc., samples may be collected in sterile 1000 ml or 500 ml bottles with sodium thiosulfate. The 1000 ml bottles are available from the lab upon request.
SWAB, Air &Bulk: Swab sampling is a method recommended to be done alongside water samples. Bulk samples can be tested for Legionella. Often bulk samples are sludge from the bottom of a condensate pan scraped off a cooling coil. Samples should be collected in a sterile container, kept cool and transported to the laboratory.
Samples should be received at the laboratory no later than 24–48 hours from sampling.
For more information about our laboratory services or our prices, please call us at 905-290-9101 (Ontario) or Toll Free 1-866-813-0648 (outside Ontario).