Nalco Water's molecular-based test for Legionella provides much faster results than current methods

Nalco Water, an Ecolab company, has introduced a molecular-based test for Legionella that provides results 14-times faster than current culture testing methods to help building and cooling tower operators manage public health risks from the waterborne pathogen. The new Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) test is part of the water safety analytical services platform Nalco Water provides through its industry-leading Legionella Risk Management Program.

"Companies are becoming more focused on understanding and managing the potential health risks of their water systems," said Michael Johannsen, executive vice president and general manager, global Light Industries and Water Services, Nalco Water. "The qPCR test is a game-changer in the detection and control of Legionella and further strengthens our ability to help customers address waterborne pathogen challenges."

The qPCR test identifies the presence of Legionella DNA and provides results in genomic units. Monthly test results can show if Legionella bacteria are increasing and can complement quarterly Legionella culture testing to ensure the effectiveness of a water management program. The molecular-based test also can be used to confirm the effectiveness of remediation after cleaning and disinfection.

Nalco Water's qPCR test protocols are validated according to International Standards Organization (ISO) methods. In 2017, the company's Legionella laboratory was one of four laboratories to participate in a preliminary PCR testing protocol through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Environmental Legionella Isolation Techniques Evaluation (ELITE) Program. The lab also is a charter member of the CDC-ELITE program for the Legionella culture test method and is New York Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (ELAP) accredited and LGC Standards and Public Health England qualified.

Nalco Water's Legionella testing capabilities are included as part of an effective risk management strategy and align with the company's holistic approach to reduce Legionella risk as part of an effective water management program. Nalco Water has helped develop and implement more than 15,000 water management programs for customers.

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