What is Legionella?
Legionnaires disease is a severe form of pneumonia, which causes potentially fatal complications to occur within the human lungs. The disease is not contagious; it is contracted when bacteria, in the form of tiny contaminated water droplets or aerosols, is inhaled into the lungs.
Where Can the Legionella Bacteria Be Found?
Legionella bacteria is found to be present in up to 13% of water samples and it is common to find harmless levels of legionella and other bacteria in mains supplied drinking water.
For this reason, it is recommended that you do not use a legionella testing kit, as the samples should be taken from specific high risk areas (such as low temperatures in hot water systems, healthcare facilities etc).
It is recommended to test for Legionella when:
- A water system is being treated with biocides and hot water is stored or distributed at lower temperatures.
- The limits of a control regime, e.g. temperature or disinfectant concentrations, are not being consistently achieved.
- There is a high-risk area or a place where there is a population with increased susceptibility, e.g. in healthcare premises such as care homes.
- A water system is suspected or identified in a case of an outbreak of legionellosis.