Customer Service

LABConnect™ - Online Results & More

Tutorial | Create Account | Login

Legionella Sampling

Title Legionella Sampling Guide


Instructions for Swab Sampling of Biofilm and Water Samples for Legionella Testing


  1. Ask Facilites Management to remove aerators from shower heads and faucets where you will be sampling.


  1. Turn on the water for a couple of seconds to moisten the pipe, and then turn it off. Insert the EMSL swab deep into the faucet/pipe. Try to get beyond the bend and swab around the inside surface firmly without breaking the swab stem. (If there is visible biofilm on the inside of the showerhead or faucet aerator when these are removed, they can also be swabbed.)


  1. Place the swab into the EMSL sterile plastic tube and add 3–5 mL of water from the same faucet to keep the swab tip moist during transport. Snap the wooden or plastic swab stem approximately 1 in. from the top of the tube. Add a drop of 0.1N sodium thiosulfate solution provided to neutralize residual disinfectants. Tighten the tube top to prevent leakage.


  1. Label the tube with a unique identifier. Record the type and location of the sample on a Sample Data Sheet, and place the tube into a cooler. Take bulk water samples:


  1. After the biofilm swab is collected, turn on the water and let it run for a few minutes until the water is warm but not hot. The goal is to obtain water currently in the distribution system along with any material shed from biofilm. Avoid heating water excessively (approximately 122°F or higher) since free-floating Legionella will die quickly at elevated temperatures. Collect 1 L of water from the faucet into a sterile 1 L bottle, leaving a 1 in. space at the top. Tighten the top to prevent leakage.


  1. Label the bottle with a unique identifier. Record the type and location of the sample on the Sample Data Sheet, and place it into the cooler. Samples should be sent to the lab by overnight shipping.



Gillian Egiazarov at 800-220-3675 ext. 2574


Ann Arbor, MI - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-4Atlanta, GA - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-1Baton Rouge, LA - NVLAP Lab Code 200375-0Beltsville, MD - NVLAP Lab Code 200293-0Boston, MA - NVLAP Lab Code 101147-0Buffalo, NY - NVLAP Lab Code 200056-0Calgary, Alberta - NVLAP Lab Code 500100-0Carle Place, NY - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-10Charlotte, NC - NVLAP Lab Code 200841-0Chicago, IL - NVLAP Lab Code 200399-0Corporate - Cinnaminson, NJ - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-0Dallas, TX - NVLAP Lab Code 600111-0Denver, CO - NVLAP Lab Code 200828-0EMSL Canada - Montreal -- Quebec - NVLAP Lab Code 201052-0EMSL Canada -- Toronto - NVLAP Lab Code 200877-0EMSL Canada Inc. -- Ottawa - NVLAP Lab Code 201040-0Fort Lauderdale - NVLAP Lab Code 500085-0Houston, TX - NVLAP Lab Code 102106-0Huntington Beach, CA - NVLAP Lab Code 101384-0Indianapolis, IN - NVLAP Lab Code 200188-0Kernersville, NC - NVLAP Lab Code 102104-0Las Vegas, NV - NVLAP Lab Code 600140-0Miami, FL - NVLAP Lab Code 200204-0Minneapolis IH Lab (EAST) - NVLAP Lab Code 101234-0Minneapolis, MN (WEST) - NVLAP Lab Code 200019-0New York, NY - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-9Orlando, FL - NVLAP Lab Code 101151-0Pasadena, CA - NVLAP Lab Code 200232-0Phoenix, AZ - NVLAP Lab Code 200811-0Piscataway, NJ - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-2Plymouth Meeting, PA - NVLAP Lab Code 200699-0Raleigh, NC - NVLAP Lab Code 200671-0Rochester, NY - NVLAP Lab Code 600183-0S. Portland, ME - NVLAP Lab Code 500094-0Salem, NH - NVLAP Lab Code 201051-0San Diego, CA - NVLAP Lab Code 200855-0San Leandro, CA - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-3Seattle, WA - NVLAP Lab Code 200613-0St. Louis, MO - NVLAP Lab Code 200742-0Vancouver, BC - NVLAP Lab Code 201068-0Wallingford, CT - NVLAP Lab Code 200700-0