Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments such as lakes and streams. Legionella can become a health concern when it grows and spreads within both potable and non-potable water systems in buildings. It is notable for its ability to resist low levels of chlorination and thrive in hot water environments. Legionella is a danger when water containing high concentrations of the bacterium are inhaled and it enters the lungs. One example of this would be showering and breathing in the aerosolized water droplets. Legionella is of special concern inside of healthcare facilities in which high risk groups such as the elderly or immunocompromised patients may be housed.
The CMS now requires that healthcare facilities develop a water management plan to address this potential issue. Healthcare facilities are now performing routine (normally semi-annually or annually) monitoring for Legionella as part of their overall facility water management plans. Following is a link to the June 2017 CMS (center for medicare and medicaid services) memo regarding Legionella:
June 2017 CMS Legionella Memo (312 KB)
Access Analytical holds national accreditation for the analysis of Legionella pneumophila via The National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP). Access utilizes the IDEXX Legiolert culture method to rapidly detect Legionella pneumophila in both potable and non-potable water samples from sources such as showers, hot water heaters, cooling towers, condensers, spas, decorative fountains, etc.. Our laboratory test methods satisfy CMS requirements for routine monitoring of potable and non-potable water samples. As a part of our quality assurance program Access Analytical analyzes semi annual Proficiency Testing (PT) samples in order to ensure that we have the ability to accurately culture Legionella pneumophila in our laboratory and provide legally defensible results. We are happy to say that our lab has a 100% pass rate for all proficiency test samples analyzed to date.
Please note that our laboratory customer service staff is ready assist you with the entire Legionella testing process which includes sampling bottles shipped to the location of your choice. Local clients are, of course, welcome to stop by and pick up supplies. All bottle sets are delivered with sample collection instructions included. We aim to make the process as simple and cost effective as possible for our clients. Please contact our office at 803-781-4243 for more information or to set up a sampling event.