Information for Building Owners

Legionella are a group of naturally occurring bacteria that are found in fresh water environments such as rivers, lakes, streams, and wet soils. It is not unusual to find low levels of Legionella bacteria inside of building water distribution systems. Following best practice guidelines are necessary to limit conditions inside of piping that would encourage this bacteria from growing, multiplying, and travelling throughout the water distribution system. Some of these best practices include keeping water moving (avoiding stagnation such as what is found in plumbing dead ends), maintain adequate disinfectant residual levels (chlorine), and storing and distributing water very hot (140F or greater) before it is tempered down at the point of use (faucet, shower, tub, etc.). These measures are important to prevent people from breathing in water mist containing Legionella that might cause illness.