ALS provides field sampling and Legionella analysis for health and aged care facilities.
ALS provides NATA accredited field sampling, Legionella spp. including L. pneumophila and Heterotrophic plate count (HPC) analysis at laboratories located across Australia.
When evaluating Legionella control it is vital to differentiate between ‘water system risk’ and ‘health risk’. The first stage in classifying and managing hazards associated with the growth of Legionella in a water network is understanding the plumbing system and the patients/residents at risk.
A complete system analysis will provide a better understanding of the facility plumbing system configuration. The graphic below describes the hazards and hazardous events related to the plumbing system that should be considered in a risk assessment and ongoing monitoring requirements.
ALS METHOD CODE
- MM524/ MW002– Heterotrophic plate count
- MM527/MW021 – Legionella spp. (incl L. pneumophila)
LIMIT OF DETECTION
- MM524/ MW002– <1 cfu/mL
- MM527/MW021 – <10 cfu/mL
Legionella: <10 cfu/mL, HPC: <500 cfu/mL
Facility/Maintenance managers and care staff need sufficient information in order to protect patients and residents of their buildings. These guidelines may be applicable to operations such as:
- Hospitals and Hospices
- Aged Care Facilities
- Dental/Orthodontic Surgeries
- Health Service Centers
There are a number of elements which could be the catalyst for Legionella proliferation in a water distribution system, some examples are:
- Incoming Water Quality – town water or private water supply
- Plumbing Systems – heat transfer, water stagnation, condition & age of pipes
- Heated Water Systems – hot water or warm water systems
- Cold Water Systems – ambient water temperature
- Equipment and Installations – showers, dental chairs, birthing or spa pools, respiratory equipment, ice machines and water coolers.
Analysis of water in the facility’s water distribution system is vital to ensure quality. Water quality can be controlled via:
- Operational monitoring – determines if the implemented risk controls are effective. Temperature, pH, turbidity and disinfectant residual are commonly used to confirm effective controls.
- Verification monitoring – determines the presence and concentration of any microbial contamination (including Legionella).
Monitoring provides the ability to assess the effectiveness of maintenance and controls and to detect the presence of Legionella before cases of Legionnaire’s disease develop.
SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS
ALS can provide independent NATA accredited onsite sampling services to collect samples according to the individual facility’s monitoring program.
ALS provides NATA accredited Legionella spp. including L. pneumophila analysis of water samples in accordance with AS/NZS 3896:2008 Waters—Examination for Legionella spp. including Legionella pneumophila. ALS also provides NATA accredited HPC analysis of warm water systems.
- Holding Time: 24 hours (HPC), 48 hours (Legionella)
- Bottle Type: Clean, sterile 250 mL plastic bottle
- Preservative: Sodium thiosulphate (for chlorinated supplies only)
- Shipping & Storage: Immediately chill and transport to lab at <4°C.