4 Habits to Make your Routine Legionella Testing Easier

Posted on April 4, 2024

LegionellaCreating good habits from the get-go is almost always easier than breaking bad habits in the long run, and this is especially true for environmental sampling programs.  When testing for Legionella pneumophila to comply with the City of Vancouver’s bylaws issued in 2021, it’s especially important to create good habits early and take advantage of all the resources available to you.

Over the past 3 years, CARO has helped many owners assess their compliance with these bylaws through accredited environmental testing, and we have learned a lot along the way.    Here, in no particular order, are our tips for first timers looking to set up a reliable Legionella pneumophila monitoring program.

1. Set up a Routine that Works for YOU

First and foremost, having a routine that is streamlined and easy to execute (and remember!) month after month is something that will only benefit you in the long run.   Make sure to schedule all your activities so your sampler and laboratory have enough time to complete their respective tasks before your test reports are due.

The good news is CARO has developed an online tool, Client Interface (CCI), that will help make planning your recurring sampling program a breeze.   Through the CCI you can build a routine that works for you by placing bottle orders right through the system. The best part is, you can hit repeat to schedule future orders all at one time – check that item off your to-do list!

If this sounds too good to be true, shoot us a message at [email protected] and we’ll show you how it’s done!

2. Develop a Standardized Sampling Procedure

Consistency in sampling procedures is critical for reliable results. Developing standardized protocols for sampling water from different points within your water system is an important habit to develop and document early on.  You want to consider all water risks for your building, including cooling towers, sinks, pipes, pools, etc., and highlight high-risk areas prone to Legionella pneumophila contamination.   You will then optimize your sampling technique based on each locations’ specific characteristics, to ensure you collect a representative sample.   For example, one of CARO’s favorite water testing clients suggests that the best way to retrieve a sample for a cooler tower is to take the sample directly from the cooling tower basin. Drain valves can build up bacteria growth and contaminate the sample.

The image below from the City of Vancouver’s website is a great visual of all the sources to include in your sampling procedures.  Can you identify some of the sampling challenges associated with each location identified in the image?Legionella

3. Keep your Records Handy

LegionellaDetailed documentation is essential for tracking sampling, maintenance activities, and analytical results.  Getting into the habit of keeping comprehensive records of sampling dates, locations, test results, and any remedial actions is crucial.  These records not only help you monitor the effectiveness of your testing program but also serve as evidence of compliance during audits or inspections.

Lucky for you this habit will be easy to adopt by signing up for CARO’s CCI (yes it does more than just bottle orders!)  The CCI’s eCOC feature walks you through your paperwork step by step, prompting you to enter necessary sampling data including sampling dates, times, and locations.  Once the data is ready, your reports are stored in the CCI, and easily accessible 24/7. Using the system’s advanced search feature, you can find specific data files quickly and easily – so you never have to sift through piles of paperwork, or an inbox full of emails, again!

4. Scout your Lab

Engaging with qualified professionals and choosing the right lab for your analytical work is easily theL most important factor in your routine Legionella pneumophila testing. They can provide you with invaluable support in sample collection, testing protocols and more. It all comes down to working with a lab you trust and can build a good relationship with.  CARO is a lab you can trust…obviously, and here’s why:

At CARO, we pride ourselves on being your Big Picture Sidekick and are always ready and eager to answer all your questions.  Our Account Managers are well versed in the protocols enforced by the City of Legionella Pneumophila testing requirements, and happy to help walk you through set-up of your analytical program and/or connect you to other professionals who might be able to help.  Connect with us today at: [email protected] and reference this blog post for 10% off your next Legionella Pneumophila test!


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