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Legionella in Drinking Water Systems

Legionella in Drinking Water Systems – an issue that does not depend on the pipe material used!

Results of an ofi study on the incidence of Legionella in existing pipe systems of various materials.

The Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technology (ofi) investigated the influence of pipe materials on the occurrence of Legionella in established Austrian drinking water systems.

The study

The Austrian Research Institute for Chemistry and Technologyscrutinized pipe systems in Austrian public buildings – hospitals, retirement homes and schools – for the incidence of Legionella. The study covered the period from November 2004 to June 2006. For the first time, such a study comprised not only potable water, but also the biofilm in the pipes.

A biofilm is a symbiosis of a variety of microorganisms and comes into being when bacteria attach to surfaces. Even perfectly hygienic potable water contains bacteria and the nutrients fuelling their growth. Bacteria attach to any kind of surface, which is why biofilms develop in all water-conveying systems, irrespective of the material used.

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