Legionella type bacteria, in its natural state, is present in fresh water (lakes and rivers), stagnant water as well as moist soil, sediment, sludge and compost. In environments where temperatures are between 25ºC and 45ºC, other conditions are equally favourable to the development of Legionella, such as stagnant water, slime, corrosion, limescale and the presence of more or less porous surfaces (plastics, rubber, silicone).
Legionellosis is an acute respiratory disease ranging from benign infections to fatal pneumonia. It is contracted by inhaling fine droplets of water contaminated with Legionella bacteria. The pneumophila type is responsible for 90% of legionellosis cases. It appears under two distinct clinical forms:
The owners of building water systems are required to maintain their cooling towers with the implementation of a preventive maintenance program developed by a member of a professional organization. They have to maintain records of verifications and results of analyses and transfer the information to the “Régie du bâtiment du Québec” (RBQ) to develop a registry of all cooling towers in Quebec province.
Eurofins EnvironeX was the ﬁrst laboratory in Quebec to be accredited for Domain 606—Legionella sp bacteria count.