Water Testing Solutions Blog

Latest news on water testing innovation

Reducing the Risk of Legionnaires’ Disease Just Got Easier

Legionnaires’ disease may sound exotic, but outbreaks are more common than those of any other waterborne disease. In fact, they’re on the rise. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that confirmed cases quadrupled between 2000 and 2014. According to the CDC, almost all of these outbreaks could have been avoided with better water system management. By testing for the primary cause of Legionnaires’ disease, Legionella pneumophila, those who manage buildings of all kinds can be confident that their risk management plans are effective.

Faster response times, an easier way to test potable and nonpotable water 

Until recently, laboratories that performed Legionella testing relied on traditional culture methods that can take up to 14 days to identify Legionella pneumophila. Now they can respond more quickly to protect public health by testing potable and nonpotable water for Legionella pneumophila with the Legiolert™ test. This culture-based test provides definitive results in just 7 days and saves valuable laboratory time by eliminating the need for confirmation steps with a dramatically simple procedure. The testing procedure is similar to that for Colilert®, which has simplified coliform and E. coli testing in laboratories worldwide.

Effective risk management plans start with testing

Regularly testing for Legionella pneumophila, the bacteria responsible for the vast majority of Legionnaires’ outbreaks, is the most effective way for hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, and other high-risk buildings to ensure their drinking water and other building-water systems are not exposing people to the bacteria that cause Legionnaires’ disease. Because the bacteria spread through water vapor, the risk isn’t confined to showers or taps. For example, contaminated droplets easily spread over wide areas via cooling towers that discharge heat from air conditioning units and factories. Legiolert provides a faster, easier, accurate water-testing tool for laboratories to help their customers reduce these risks to public health.


1. CDC. Surveillance for waterborne disease outbreaks associated with drinking water and other nonrecreational water—United States, 2009–2010. MMWRMorb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;62(35):714–720.

2. Beer KD, Gargano JW, Roberts VA, et al. Surveillance for waterborne disease outbreaks associated with drinking water—United States, 2011–2012.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2015;64(31):842–848.