Legionella Testing: London

Legionella LondonHere at Ames, we understand the importance of carrying out safe, reliable and trusted legionella tests across the UK. Legionella is quite a complex disease, so we’ll break it down into its core components. Ames offers Legionella services throughout the UK, and have been trading for over 20 years.

What is Legionella?

Legionella is a bacteria-based and born disease that can cause three severe diseases that are collectively known as Legionellosis. Legionella can also cause severe infections that can also lead to Legionnaire’s Disease, which is a fatal form of pneumonia, more on that later. Below are some of the summarised points defining what Legionella is made up of:

  • Legionella pneumophilia is essentially a bacterium that belongs to the genus Legionella
  • It is a natural occurrence within both water and soil environments
  • The bacteria within Legionella can rapidly expand in nutritious environments
  • Legionella is contracted via inhalation of contaminated water
  • Temperatures under 20 degrees will not affect the survival of legionella bacteria, though, it does halt its expansion and multiplication. Anything above 60 degrees will see the bacteria die.

Alan Read, owner of Ames explains in the video below, gives a personal overview of legionella, and the concerns that surround it:


Legionella Testing in London

In a recent report published by the PHE (Public Health of England), Legionella in London isn’t something to take lightly.

Within this report, it claimed that 2013 saw London topping Legionella reports by over 20%, and considering London in 2012 reported potentially “catastrophic consequences” due to poor management of the evaporating units and systems near the transport hubs and Olympic venues according to a HSE report.

This wasn’t the first time that Legionella had threatened England’s capital, and nor will it be the last at this rate.

Origins of Legionella

The main cause of Legionella infection is via bacteria infiltrating our respiratory systems. Infection will eventually cause Legionnaires’ Disease, which can become a fatal form of pneumonia if left untreated. Legionella usually affects men more than women, and while not contagious, it can be fatal.

1976 saw the disease’s first official identification during an outbreak at the convention of the American legion in Philadelphia, where over 220 people were infected resulting in 34 deaths.

While the disease has been identified and methods are in place to scupper any outbreaks, legionella cases are still on the rise. Typical cases report figures of 200-250 legionella cases every year within the UK.

Where Does Legionella Come From?

Despite occurring naturally, Legionella rarely produce colonies in significant numbers. The problem is that most artificial water systems offer a welcoming environment for legionella to multiply. When people neglect to have their water controlled, or at least tested, they may be at risk of large colonies forming in hot or called water units.

Areas of high risk:

  • Taps, baths, showers (most common)
  • Air conditioning units
  • Hot tubs, pools (shared water sources)
  • Legionella testing

Where Legionella Thrives:

  • Stagnant water
  • Water units and systems that produce excess aerosols and/or water vapour that can be inhaled
  • Temperatures within 20-50 degrees are prime bacteria multiplying perimeters

Our Legionella Test

The Legionella samples are cultured in our bespoke labs for approximately 10 days, this is because we must conform to HSE and UKAS requirements. This allows the bacteria to be assessed, which helps us obtain accurate and verified results. Once this is completed, you will receive your testing certificate, this is usually available two weeks after the samples were collected.

Ames Legionella Services in London

At Ames, our Legionella control team are always at hand to deliver swift and efficient service throughout London. With our dedicated team of health and hygiene experts, we proudly offer the capital our prestigious and widely recognised services. This includes, risk assessment tasks, expert witness and litigation support, water testing and more.

Ames’ Legionella Control Service: Risk Groups

Despite the modern advances of Legionella control, people around the UK are still contracting the disease. The older you are, the more likely you are to contract a Legionellosis disease, and the following groups are most at risk:

  • People over 45
  • Sufferers of kidney disease
  • Diabetics, and/or people with heart and lung conditions
  • Smokers and people with respiratory diseases
  • People with weak immune systems

Don’t Wait, Call Us Today

If you have any concerns regarding Legionella , even if they may be small, our dedicated and trustworthy Edinburgh team are always on hand to lend our services and advice. Contact us here for more information!