Environment

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Legionella

Legionella bacteria are found naturally in the environment, usually in water, including hot water tanks, air conditioning cooling towers, humidifiers, whirlpools, spas, hot tubs and decorative fountains.

You may be exposed to Legionella bacteria if you breathe in small droplets of water in the air that have been contaminated with the bacteria. The bacteria are not spread from person-to-person and you cannot become infected by drinking water containing Legionella bacteria. For more information on the disease see our Legionellosis Fact Sheet and to learn more about Legionella click here.

Statistics have shown that legionella can spread through inadequately maintained cooling towers and evaporative condensers.There is an increased incidence in Legionnaire’s disease in Ontario. Cooling towers are the most common source for the illness. 

Resources

Toolkit - Developing a Water Management Program to Reduce Legionella Growth and Spread in Buildings - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Guideline 12-2000: Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems - American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers, INC.,

Guideline: Best Practices for Control of Legionella - Cooling Technology Institute, July 2008

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