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Rapid detection of Legionella

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A variety of test kits are available with sensitivity levels as high as 100 CFU per litre.

AN apparent breakthrough for the rapid detection of the Legionella pneumophila SG1 bacteria is now available from Scottish firm Odour & Dust Solutions (ODS).

The Legionella Field Test can be used to test water on-site, providing a result in around 25 minutes, compared to the normal timescale of up to 14 days for a laboratory test to be performed.
Testing your premises for Legionella became mandatory in April of this year, under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA).
Legionella can arise anywhere water is stored or passes, including places such as wash basins, jet washers, sprinklers, taps, and odour and dust suppression systems.
It is a particular risk in places where the water temperature is between 20ªC and 45ªC. Or where there are sources of nutrients such as rust, sludge, scale and organic matter. Or indeed where there are conditions present to encourage bacteria to multiply.
ODS recommends testing for the bacteria every 12 months, at least, but many of its clients ask for a test twice yearly to be safe.
The risk of Legionaires is considered to be especially high in areas of water that haven’t been used or touched in four weeks, which should be considered a priority for testing.
The kits from ODS are available in a number of variants, depending on whether the water to be tested is to be taken from a sample, a standard water fitting, or a swab. And different versions cater for different levels of sensitivity.

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