Get to understand Legionella
- Legionella is a naturally occurring bacteria in rivers, lakes and streams (generally at low levels)
- Certain conditions may be present in homes and buildings that promote its growth
- Stagnant water, warm water temperatures and cleanliness of piping and equipment
- These conditions may be present in a variety of building systems and equipment, such as:
- Cooling towersFootnote *, ornamental water features, humidifiers, plumbing systems, hot tubs.
- Legionella can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a form of respiratory infection. You may worry when you hear that Legionella bacteria may be present in your building’s mechanical systems.
- Since Legionella is naturally occurring, the bacteria can never be completely eliminated. Its growth can only be controlled.
Get to know how Public Services and Procurement Canada controls Legionella
MD 15161, Control of Legionella in Mechanicals Systems—Legionella Management Communications and Actions Protocol.
- Your health and safety is Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC)’s top priority. With the help of stakeholders and unions, PSPC developed a strict Legionella control standard and communications protocol.
PSPC has a rigorous program to control the growth of Legionella in its building water systems.
Here’s how we do it
- Step 1: Design and installation of new systems. Building systems are designed and installed to minimize risks associated with Legionella growth and transmission.
- Step 2: Legionella Bacteria Control Management Program (for each building). This program identifies Legionella susceptible systems and their risks and hazards. This program ensures appropriate control and validation strategies are implemented.
- Step 3: Maintenance and prevention. PSPC technicians control Legionella growth by maintaining cleanliness and appropriate water temperatures, while minimizing stagnant water conditions and ensuring appropriate water treatment.
- Step 4: Testing and validation. PSPC does regular bacterial testing. The test results indicate if cleaning and disinfection are required to control bacterial growth.
- Step 5: Cleaning, disinfection and retesting. If required, cleaning and disinfection of a system is performed immediately. The system is then retested to ensure the cleaning and disinfection was effective.
Cooling towers are heat exchanger systems that discharge building heat to the outdoors. They are not connected to the building’s ventilation air.
For more information about Legionella, visit Control of Legionella bacteria in the Public Services and Procurement Canada real property portfolio.
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