U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden conducted its routine, annual water testing for Legionella from Nov. 12 through 21. Approximately 150 facilities — those with showers — were tested. Due to the size of the water systems, this excluded single family homes and duplexes, such as those in Newman Village.
Not all residents in multi-family buildings had their water tested. Occupied units farthest from the hot water source were sampled. Residents whose water was tested received a notification with a timeframe when a contractor would collect a sample from the home’s main shower. Non-residential facilities to be tested also received a notification of testing times. Sampling took about 10 minutes, and results were complete in two weeks.
The Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division will notify residents only if the test comes back over set limits. If a sample exceeds those limits, DPW will raise the temperature in the building’s water system, flush the system and re-test the building.
This will be the third year for Legionella testing at USAG Wiesbaden in accordance with Environmental Final Governing Standards for Germany. Besides the annual testing, all buildings are equipped with an anti-Legionella device that raises the temperature of the water overnight to kill any bacteria.
Maintaining water systems, flushing water pipes and annual testing are important to keep everyone safe and healthy, said Silvia Schlepper, who oversees the garrison’s Legionella testing program.
Legionella is a naturally occurring bacteria that can become problematic in man-made water systems when it grows in high concentrations. Inhaling the bacteria in droplets, such as the spray from a shower, can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia.
For more information about the Environmental Division’s Legionella testing, search “legionella” on the garrison homepage, home.army.mil/wiesbaden, or call Schlepper at (0611) 143-548-4093.