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Steps to testing

We send you the kit

Step 1 - We send you the kit

We post the bottles / courier bags & “Courier Pick Up Request” sheets out to your nominated address/es.

 You fill and return

Step 2 - You fill and return

You fill the bottles, then complete the “Courier Pick Up Request” sheet. Then fax us this sheet, we organise and pay the courier costs.

Free courier pick up

Step 3 - Free courier pick up

The “filled” bottles and “Courier Pick Up Request” are put into the courier bag.

Testing and anaylsis

Step 4 - Testing and anaylsis

The courier takes the samples to our laboratory for analysis.

Test results

Step 5 - Test results

The results sheet will interpret the bacteria levels - if poor, we will suggest what remedial actions are necessary. We send the results certificate out to your Office or direct to your client (or both) - just let us know your preference.

Recored for future reference

Step 6 - Recored for future reference

Our database will be updated with the results. Clients can also have a password to view their own analysis certificates over the internet.

Reminder to test

Step 7 - Reminder to test

We will remind you by email, fax or by mail when your  next tests are due.

 

What are Legionella bacteria?

Legionella is a type of bacterium that is commonly found in fresh bodies of water like rivers, streams and lakes. The bacterium can also find its way into residential and commercial systems, surviving the water treatment process.

Testing for legionella bacteria is important because the bacterium becomes a health risk when its population grows due to favourable conditions. Typically, the bacteria population begins and spreads in water systems like hot water tanks and heaters, large plumbing systems, hot tubs that are not drained after use, cooling towers, and decorative fountains.

When individuals are exposed to and inhale water droplets contaminated with the bacteria, they can succumb to Legionnaires' disease. It is also possible to be infected with the disease through drinking contaminated water which goes to the lungs instead of the digestive tract. However, this is very rare. 

What is a Legionella risk assessment?

A Legionella risk assessment is a detailed report on the building's water system, an investigation to establish if there are areas where the conditions are conducive to encourage bacterial growth.

The legionella report should be able to identify and assess sources of risk, determine whether it is possible for breathable water droplets to be formed, determine whether there are people who may be exposed to these droplets, and lay out a plan of action on how to prevent and/or control the risk.

This document is valuable for people who have responsibility for the building, enabling them to design, implement, and manage precautions, record these precautions and designate a responsible person.

Is this a test for Legionnaires’ disease?

No, testing for Legionella bacteria is done by collecting water samples from around the property and incubating them in the laboratory.  

Testing a person to find out if they have  Legionnaires’ Disease can be done by various methods.  Healthcare practitioners can test for Legionnaires’ Disease by analysing the antibodies found in the blood or perform an antigen test using the patient's urine sample. Alternatively the answer can be found by creating a bacteria culture from either blood or sputum samples.

Do I have to use the test kit within a particular timeframe once received?

The manufacturers of the sterile containers put a ‘use by’ date on the bottles, normally 3-6 months. However, it is prudent to use the kit upon receipt especially if you suspect the presence of the bacteria in the premises. Also, take note that incubation takes 10 days to complete. And if you wish to get the results as quickly as possible, you will need to use the kit and send the collected water samples as soon as possible.

Will I get a Legionella test certificate?

Yes you will, along with a laboratory analysis.

What can I do if the tests are positive for Legionella Bacteria?

Using our test kit eliminates the need for chemists to go to your home or business premises which can alarm people. After testing for legionella and analysis, we will send you an interpretation of the results. If the result is positive, we will suggest the necessary remedial actions to get rid of the bacteria.

In most cases these simple routines and procedures are undertaken without fuss and with little or no disruption – staff and clients generally do not even notice!

Do I have to perform a test for Legionella?

For most premises the answer is yes simply because the criteria required for testing to become unnecessary is difficult to attain 24/7. It is definitely yes for healthcare premises (including care homes) where there are people with increased susceptibility.

However, if you’re just a regular homeowner, you’re not required by the law to perform this test. You do so according to your personal convictions regarding health and safety.

Should we be testing for Legionella using hot or cold water?

Both can actually be used in testing because Legionella bacteria can be present in both hot and cold water. Also, the Water Sampling Protocol for Legionnaires’ bacteria involves both cold and hot temperature requirements for testing, measuring and recording.

Will you perform Legionella tests outside of the UK?

Yes. AquaCert also operates in the Middle East and other parts of Europe.

How long before I get my test back?

Traditionally, water samples from the water testing kits are incubated for a minimum of 10 days.

However, if you need immediate results, then the latest technology allows for a rapid screening method.  This method is more often used when a water system is known to have legionella bacteria and the rapid analysis allows the building owner to monitor the progress of remedial actions in reducing the bacteria count hour by hour or day by day.

Are your tests UKAS accredited?

Yes. 

Will I need to pay for the courier?

No. This is already covered by the full price of the water testing kit. AquaCert provides free pick up and delivery of test results, although you can also access your water test results through the company’s database — you can have a password to view your analysis certificate online.

Is it recommended to test each year?

Routine monitoring for the presence of Legionella should be carried out every six months. A test for Legionella in water may be conducted more frequently, however, especially in the event of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in your community, if an establishment in your area has tested positive for the bacteria, or if you are introducing a new water system at home or in the building.

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