ASTM International’s water committee (D19) has approved a new standard that provides an easy and accurate culture method for detecting Legionella pneumophila, the primary bacteria responsible for Legionnaires’ disease.
Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially lethal pneumonia contracted from the inhalation of L. pneumophila bacteria that has been aerosolized by contaminated water sources such as showers, pools and spas, or cooling towers.
ASTM International member Jody Frymire notes that more effective water management practices can protect against potential Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks.
“Laboratories, building owners, and water treaters can use the new standard to perform routine monitoring of L. pneumophila to evaluate whether water management plans are effective in removing the pathogenic bacteria and adequately reducing risk,” says Frymire.
The new standard (D8429) describes a method for detecting and quantifying L. pneumophila to meet water management requirements. Such requirements are necessary to regularly validate that treatment and control measures are effective in potable and non-potable water associated with industrial, commercial, healthcare, and residential settings. Frymire says the new method is easier to perform and provides faster results than other methods.
This effort directly relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, clean water and sanitation.