Don’t react to what’s in your water. Respond! Routine monitoring for Legionella bacteria is the keystone to outbreak prevention. Pace® offers comprehensive Legionella testing and analysis services for healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, commercial buildings, and more. Our experienced team of microbiologists and environmental scientists work collaboratively with clients to create customized testing plans tailored to meet specific needs and regulatory requirements.

  • The Pace®Legionella testing services team is led by Janet E. Stout, PhD. Dr. Stout is recognized worldwide for her 30+ years of pioneering research in Legionella.
  • In addition to being CDC Elite, many of the Pace® labs are AIHA accredited.
  • We offer numerous test methods, including Legionella ISO culture, Legionella CDC culture, Legionella qPCR, and Legiolert.
  • Pace® is an independent provider of Legionella testing and analysis services. There is no need to worry about biased or incomplete results.
  • Twelve Legionella lab locations and mistake-proof shipping kits make it easy to get your samples to the lab safely and securely.
  • Our online store makes it simple to make sure you always have the right testing supplies on hand.
  • Pace® Legionella Emergency Response Services can manage all aspects of a Legionella

Protect your employees and customers from preventable diseases while mitigating your business risks with Pace® Legionella testing services.


Legionella bacteria can pose significant health risks, especially in environments where the bacteria can grow and spread, such as in large plumbing systems and cooling towers. Exposure to Legionella bacteria can result in Legionnaires’ disease, a severe form of pneumonia, or the less severe flu-like Pontiac fever. These illnesses can be fatal, particularly in people with compromised immune systems. Legionella testing can help protect customers, employees, and the general public. Pace® Legionella testing services can help organizations achieve several important goals.

Compliance: Many organizations, such as those in the healthcare industry, are required to implement water management policies and procedures to reduce the risk of Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens. Testing is not always required but can play an important role in validating compliance.

Water Safety Management Validation: Even if not required by law to test for Legionella, baseline testing can help validate the water safety management practices for organizations such as hotels and recreational facilities.

Reputation Management: An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease traced back to an organization’s facilities could significantly damage its reputation, potentially resulting in loss of business and other liabilities. Routine testing can help limit the risk of an outbreak. If an outbreak does occur, testing can help identify the source.


Pace® offers a variety of test methods for detecting Legionella in water, including Legionella ISO Culture, widely considered the gold standard in Legionella testing. Our team of experts at our Legionella testing labs can help you determine which test is right for your needs.

  • LEGIONELLA ISO CULTURE – Considered the gold standard for Legionella testing, the ISO 11731 culture method is based on the International Organization for Standardization’s protocol for the detection and enumeration of Legionella. This method also allows for detection and enumeration of both Legionella pneumophila and non-pneumophila Legionella species.
  • LEGIONELLA CDC CULTURE – Legionella CDC culture can identify all Legionella species and serogroups and provides the isolates for analyses like source tracking. It is the method required for compliance in some jurisdictions.
  • LEGIONELLA qPCR – Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is a rapid molecular method that can be used to detect Legionella species, Legionella pneumophila, and Legionella pneumophila serogroup in potable or non-potable water samples very quickly. 
  • LEGIOLERT – An easy to use culture test for Legionella pneumophila, the species responsible for the majority of Legionnaires’ disease incidents. However, this test method has certain limitations that may make it unsuitable for certain testing scenarios. 

Not sure which test method to use? Our microbiologist are happy to help analyze your requirements. Reach out to us.


Suitable for
Legionella ISO Culture
  • Compliance
  • Baseline testing and water management validation
  • Outbreak forensics
  • 10 days**
  • Considered the gold standard in the industry
  • Highly accurate
  • Capable of detecting 20 species of Legionella, including 16 serogroups of L. pneumophila
  • Longer TAT required than all other methods. (Can be paired with qPCR to begin initial outbreak forensics.)
    Legionella CDC Culture
  • Compliance
  • Baseline testing and water management validation
  • Outbreak forensics
  • 7 days**
  • Highly accurate
  • Capable of detecting 20 species of Legionella, including 16 serogroups of L. pneumophila
  • Longer TAT required that Legionella qPCR. (Can be paired with qPCR to begin initial outbreak forensics.)
    Legionella qPCR
  • Baseline testing and water management validation
  • Time-constrained outbreak forensics
  • 1-2 days
  • Fast – Often paired with Legionella Culture for more detailed analysis
  • Can detect all species of Legionella
  • Can only identify one serogroup of L. pneumophila – serogroup 1
  • Cannot indicate whether the bacteria was alive when the sample was collected
  • Legiolert
    Baseline testing and water management validation
    7 days
  • Little technical skills required to perform
  • Easy to interpret results
  • High number of false positives in non-potable water if lab SOPs do not control potential for cross-reactivity
  • Can only test for Legionella pneumophila
  • * Turnaround time. All TATs quoted are industry standard. Some scenarios may allow for faster turnaround. Talk with your Pace® representative if faster results are needed.

    ** Regulatory requirements in some states, such as New York and Connecticut, may extend TAT times. Talk with your Pace® representative for details.


    Our integrated team of experts is available to conduct case investigations and manage all aspects of a Legionella outbreak. With proven experience in outbreak response, the Pace® emergency response team combines experts from microbiology, engineering, water treatment, infection prevention, communication, public health, and medicine to provide the broad range of expertise required to address all aspects of an outbreak. Pace® Legionella outbreak response services are available 24/7 and include:

    • Outbreak Response Management
    • Coordinate Emergency Disinfection
    • Onsite Sampling and Risk Assessment
    • Case Investigation Laboratory Services
    • Laboratory Results Interpretation
    • Liaison with Health Department
    • Staff and Townhall Meetings
    • Communication Strategies; Media And Public Relations
    • Recommendations or Ongoing Disinfection

    Legionella is the problem you don’t think you have until there’s an outbreak.

    Contact the Pace® Legionella Outbreak Response Team at


    Whether you need a full-service solution or have a narrow set of unique requirements, our team of experienced microbiologists and water safety specialists have professional solutions to support your water safety and management projects. Some of the common types of Legionella support services we offer include:

    • Water Safety and Management Plans
    • Water Infection Control Risk Assessment (WICRA)
    • Environmental Risk Assessments
    • ASHRAE 188 and State Regulatory Compliance
    • Water Safety and Management Plan And Policy Audits
    • Onsite Legionella Sampling And Sampling Plan Assistance
    • Water Safety and Management Plan Implementation Support, Including Program Oversight, Onsite Quarterly Legionella Sampling, Annual Audits, and Plan Updates
    • Outbreak Response Management


    Legionella was first identified following an outbreak in 1976 during an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. While the disease know to the public as Legionnaire’s disease has been widely studied, the general public is often underinformed about the bacteria that causes it.

    Legionella is a genus of pathogenic gram-negative bacteria. Infection caused by Legionella is called Legionellosis, which includes a pneumonia-type condition called Legionnaires’ disease and a flu-like illness referred to as Pontiac fever. The CDC estimates that 8,000 to 18,000 people are hospitalized with Legionnaires’ disease each year in the U.S. and that roughly 10% of cases are fatal.


    Legionella bacteria are found naturally in freshwater environments, such as lakes and streams, and prefer warmer water to cool. The bacteria can become a health concern when they grow and spread in artificial water systems, such as plumbing, storage tanks, cooling towers, decorative fountains, hot tubs, and manufacturing equipment. Transmission of Legionella is not passed from person to person. Rather, it is usually contracted by the inhalation of droplets in mist or vapor containing the bacteria.


    Legionella testing in water systems is a best practice for protecting public health and mitigating organizational risk. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) requires Medicare and Medicare/Medicaid certified healthcare facilities to implement water management policies and procedures to reduce the risk of Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens in building water systems.

    In 2022, new standards approved by the Joint Commission and designed to address Legionella and other waterborne pathogens also went into effect for all accredited and certified organizations, including hospitals, critical access hospitals, and nursing care centers. Some states may have their own requirements. For example, New York state requires all general hospitals and residential healthcare facilities to monitor and control Legionella as well.

    For other types of organizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines for preventing Legionnaires’ disease on its website. Additionally, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has standards that may apply to workplaces with potential Legionella contamination, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and respiratory protection. Once again, states may also set regulations for other industries. New York, for instance, requires cooling towers to be tested.