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Protect Against Waterborne Diseases and Waterborne Pathogens

Analytical + Environmental / Water and Liquid / Waterborne Pathogens

Waterborne Pathogens – Test To Protect!

Every year, waterborne diseases lead to approximately 7 million illnesses and incur healthcare costs of around $3 billion in the U.S. Most hospitalizations and deaths are caused by three diseases: nontuberculous mycobacterial infection, Pseudomonas septicemia and pneumonia, and Legionnaires’ Disease, which can cause severe respiratory illnesses. Pace® provides targeted, accurate, and defensible testing for Legionella bacteria and other waterborne pathogens. Our team of experts is committed to delivering advanced waterborne pathogen testing solutions to help ensure compliance with current state and federal mandates and safeguard public health.
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What Are Waterborne Pathogens?

A pathogen is an agent that causes disease in a host. Waterborne pathogens are the causative agents for diseases that are transmitted through water. These pathogens may be the living organism itself or the byproduct of metabolic activity from these organisms. The latter pathogens are often referred to as toxins.

person sitting in hotel hot tub. Waterborne diseases, Waterborne pathogens, List of waterborne diseases

How Are Waterborne Diseases Spread?

Waterborne pathogens can grow in drinking water distribution systems, residential and commercial plumbing systems, recreational water venues (e.g., hot tubs) and industrial water systems (e.g., cooling towers). Warm water systems are particularly conducive to bacteria like Legionella. Water contaminated with bacteria or toxins can lead to waterborne illnesses when consumed or inhaled or when the pathogen comes into contact with skin, eyes, ears, or other mucous membranes.

What Are Biofilm-Associated Bacteria?

Waterborne germs can form a biofilm, which is a community of microorganisms that form an extracellular matrix of polysaccharides. Typically, a biofilm will consist of a blend of microbial cells, i.e., bacteria, fungi, and amoebae, that live alongside one another, secreting a sticky, slime-like substance. This substance, called Extracellular Polymeric Substances (EPS), enables them to bond to surfaces. This slimy “home” also provides a barrier to water treatment chemicals like chlorine, allowing germs to thrive and reproduce.

Biofilms tend to proliferate in stagnant water, such as the inner linings of water pipes, aerators, storage tanks, or heaters. They can also form along pipe walls even when water is flowing.

Keeping Pace With Legionella

Legionnaires’ Disease

Legionnaires’ disease is a pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. The name of the disease caused by Legionella pneumophila, Legionnaires’ disease, was derived from the original outbreak at the 1976 American Legion Convention in Philadelphia. Pneumophila means lung-loving in Greek, and Legionnaires’ disease can cause severe respiratory symptoms.


Legionella bacteria are the leading cause of U.S. waterborne disease outbreaks, but Legionnaires’ disease is still believed to be under-reported. Legionella is different from typical waterborne pathogens in that the route of exposure is inhalation or aspiration rather than ingestion.

Legionella Species

There are more than 60 members of the Legionella family. Approximately half have been implicated in human disease. The majority (>90%) of cases of Legionnaires’ disease reported in the U.S. are caused by Legionella pneumophila.

Who We Serve

Commercial And Industrial Sectors
Water Treatment Industries
Hospital water safety is a priority and a constant challenge for healthcare epidemiologists, infection preventionists, safety officers, facility engineers, and administrators. Waterborne infections can be fatal, but steps can be taken to help prevent them. From CMS compliance to Legionella and waterborne pathogens testing, Pace® can help healthcare facilities prevent waterborne pathogen infections.

The hospitality industry has the daunting task of ensuring hotels, cruise ships, and other entertainment venues have a safe water supply for drinking and recreation. The good news is that hotels can reduce the growth of Legionella bacteria and other waterborne pathogens by implementing a Water Management Program. Learn more about how Pace ® can help you create a comprehensive Water Management Program that helps keep your customers safe.


Construction events can negatively impact water quality, causing spikes in waterborne pathogens like Legionella. These events include excavation, water main breaks, water pressure changes, brown water events, construction materials, dormancy prior to occupancy, and ineffective disinfection during or after commissioning. Learn how Pace ® can help.

Commercial And Industrial Sectors

Commercial buildings consume almost 20% of our potable water. It’s no wonder that water management is a top priority for facility managers. Learn more about how Pace® can help to prevent Legionnaires’ disease and infection by other waterborne pathogens, such as Pseudomonas and nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), in buildings.

Water Treatment Industries

Pace® helps companies that provide water treatment services for industrial and commercial cooling and heating systems. Pace® testing services can help validate the effectiveness of water treatment in managing risk from waterborne pathogens such as Legionella. Learn more about how Pace® can help.

Contact us today for more info on Pace® Legionella and waterborne testing services.

Let Pace® Tell You What’s In Your Water

Whether you need a full-service solution or have a limited-scope project, Pace® is your go-to resource for Legionella and waterborne pathogens testing. Our team of experienced microbiologists and water management specialists work collaboratively with you to proactively assess and manage risks and maintain a safe environment for your customers and employees.

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