CARO News

2022 Is The Year Of Legionella Testing In Water

Posted on November 16, 2021

lab plate of positive legionella test (colors are black gel and white bacteria)Legionella pneumophila is the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, a disease that attacks the lungs of infected individuals.   The proliferation of Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease can be prevented through routine monitoring of water quality in building systems such as showers, pools, and cooling towers.  Although Legionella bacteria does exist naturally in water bodies such as lakes and streams, it becomes a focus of public health attention when it enters water sources within buildings, where the conditions are ripe for bacteria growth (optimal temperature, ample ‘food’ sources, etc.)  Legionella testing is essential for preventing outbreaks and monitoring areas where Legionella pneumophila can grow.

The risk of exposure to Legionella pneumophila is greatest in buildings with improperly maintained plumbing and building mechanical systems, as they provide the most hospitable environment for bacterial growth.  Cooling towers which provide cooling for equipment and air conditioning have been responsible for several Legionella Outbreaks in Canada, including a particularly significant outbreak in 2018 in Surrey BC which resulted in 14 cases of the disease. This has led the City of Vancouver to implement a prevention strategy that includes routine testing requirements under a water systems operating permit.

As of January 1st, 2022, cooling towers operating under a permit in the City of Vancouver must be tested monthly for Legionella.  Testing locations include cooling towers, decorative water features, non-potable water sources, and other similar building water systems.  Additional testing is also recommended after a prolonged shutdown of the plumbing system to ensure that no contamination occurred during this period.  These steps are an important aspect of a preventative maintenance strategy that considers not only the health of the system but also the health of the public. To learn more about the permitting process, click here to access the City of Vancouver’s guidance.

When selecting a laboratory for Legionella Testing, the City of Vancouver has highlighted (and CARO agrees!) that it is important to ensure your laboratory is following the necessary testing requirements and following good laboratory practices.  This includes:

      • using a culture method to identify all serogroups of Legionella pneumophila and that conforms to ISO 11731, “Water Quality — Enumeration of Legionella,” (yup, CARO does this!)
      • Is accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 (like CARO!)
      • Is enrolled in a bi-annual external proficiency testing program (CARO sure is!)
      • Provides notice to the medical health officer and City for exceedances, as defined by the by-law (of course CARO does this… it’s the law!)

CARO Analytical Services is properly equipped to run Legionella testing following these requirements and is also included on the list of laboratories approved by the BC Provincial Health Officer.

In addition to Legionella pneumophila testing, CARO Analytical Services also offers a variety of water quality testing services, including the additional parameters outlined in the City of Vancouver guidance E. Coli and Turbidity.   For more information or to request a quote for testing, send us an email at [email protected] or call our team directly: 1 (888) 311-8846.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Additional handy references:

 

Richmond, British Columbia

#110 – 4011 Viking Way
Richmond, BC, V6V 2K9, Canada
Phone: (604) 279-1499 Fax: (604) 279-1599
Email: [email protected]
Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.
Saturday 9 am to 4 pm.
After Hours Emergency: 1 (888) 311-8849

 

Edmonton, Alberta

17225 109 Ave NW
Edmonton, AB, T5S 1H7, Canada
Phone: (780) 489-9100
Email: [email protected]
Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.
After Hours Emergency: 1 (888) 311-8849

 

Burnaby, British Columbia

#108 – 4475 Wayburne Drive
Burnaby, BC V5G 4X4, Canada
Phone: (604) 279-1499
Email: [email protected]
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
After Hours Emergency: 1 (888) 311-8849

    Contact Us









     

    Kelowna, British Columbia

    #102 – 3677 Highway 97N
    Kelowna, BC, V1X 5C3, Canada
    Phone: (250) 765-9646
    Toll Free: 1 (888) 311-8846 Fax: (250) 765-3893
    Email: [email protected]
    Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm.
    Saturday 9 am to 4 pm.
    After Hours Emergency: 1 (888) 311-8849

     

    Whitehorse, Yukon (Depot)

    BOX 10 33 Levich Drive

    ,

    Whitehorse, YT, Y1A0A8, Canada
    Contact Us for Supplies and Deliveries
    Toll Free: 1 (888) 311-8846
    Email: [email protected]
    Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm
    This is a depot with our supplies only. Ship samples to the lab.

     

    Victoria, B.C. (Depot)

    #3-576 Hillside Avenue

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    Victoria, V8T 1Y9, BC, Canada
    Contact Us for Supplies and Deliveries
    Toll Free: 1 (888) 311-8846
    Email: [email protected]
    Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 5 pm
    This is a depot with our supplies and flat-rate next day shipping

    CARING ABOUT RESULTS, OBVIOUSLY.