Working with Legionella Consultants

At a glance

  • Building owners and managers may consider working with Legionella consultants if their building needs a water management program (WMP).
  • Working with consultants may also be beneficial if Legionella isn't controlled with the current WMP activities.
  • Deciding whether to work with consultants and which ones depends on each building's unique situation.
Illustration of a person with a notebook talking to someone else.


Since every building's situation is unique, there's not a "one size fits all" approach to developing a WMP. Everyone doesn't need to work with a Legionella consultant. It also may be helpful to explore multiple options.

The following are factors to consider discussing with consultants:A

  1. Level of experience
  2. Laboratory expertise
  3. Environmental assessment expertise
  4. Remediation expertise
  5. Water management expertise
  6. Knowledge of codes, standards, and regulations
  7. Potential conflicts of interest

See the following sections for specific questions about these factors. They can help building owners and managers think through how to approach working with a Legionella consultant.

1. Level of experience

What kind of Legionella-specific experience do the employees of this company have?

Do the employees have appropriate training in critical fields?

  • Engineering
  • Environmental health or industrial hygiene
  • Microbiology
  • Plumbing
  • Water treatment

Does the company have Legionella-specific experience with a facility of your size/type?

Do they have experience with water system remediation, implementation of WMPs to prevent Legionnaires' disease, or both?

2. Laboratory expertise

Is the laboratory they use accredited for environmental testing?

Does it participate in a proficiency testing program for Legionella?

Does their laboratory perform culture for Legionella? This is particularly important following remediation to ensure adequacy of the remediation process.

What level of identification (species/serogroup) can their laboratory perform?

Is their laboratory willing to save samples and isolates?

Is their laboratory willing to share samples and isolates with public health laboratories if requested during an outbreak investigation?

3. Environmental assessment expertise

How much experience does the company have with environmental assessments and/or sampling for Legionella?

Can they describe situations where they performed an environmental assessment and/or Legionella sampling in a facility of your size/type?

4. Remediation expertise

How frequently does the company provide remediation services?

Can they describe situations where they remediated Legionella from a building water system in a facility of your size/type?

Can the company discuss the benefits and challenges associated with multiple approaches to remediation?

5. Water management expertise

How much experience does the company have creating WMPs compliant with industry standards for a facility of your size/type?

What level of support does the company provide with creation and implementation of WMPs?

What is the spectrum of services they offer once the WMP is established?

6. Knowledge of codes, standards, and regulations

Does the company have previous experience working in your state and/or jurisdiction?

How familiar is the company with the following in your jurisdiction:

  • Healthcare accreditation and survey requirements?
  • Public health reporting requirements?
  • State and local building codes?
  • Water treatment regulations?

Consider looking for local resources‎

Local building code officials or your health department may be good resources for knowledge about existing codes, standards, and regulations.

7. Potential conflicts of interest

Does the company have interest in promoting specific services or products?

  1. The decision to utilize a Legionella consultant service is solely the decision of the user of this content and not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The information provided here is only intended to be general summary information to the public and should not be cited as legal advice or an endorsement of the use of consultant services. References to the use of consultant services does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and such references shall not be used for advertising or endorsement purposes.