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Could Legionella Bacteria Be Contaminating Your Hot Tub?

EMSL Analytical offers 5 labs nationwide for Legionella testing.


Hot tubs that are operated and maintained improperly provide a perfect breeding ground for Legionella bacteria. Exposure to Legionella can cause potentially deadly Legionnaires’ disease and non-fatal Pontiac fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a severe, potentially fatal and debilitating form of pneumonia that has long term effects after the disease has been treated. Pontiac fever is a flu-like disease that lasts a few days.

Legionella multiplies in hot tubs when people fail to operate or maintain hot tub correctly. Proper operation should always include the use of water treatment chemicals. The unit should not be run using untreated tap water. Proper maintenance includes not only treating the water but also shutting down the unit weekly to scrub away any biofilm deposits on the sides of the unit and cleaning/replacing the filters.  The unit should then be refilled using tap water treated with the correct dosing of water treatment chemicals.

 “Most Legionella cases are caused by biofilm in hot tubs, whirlpool spas, cooling tower systems, and potable water distribution systems,” states EMSL’s Business Development Manager, Diane Miskowski, MPH. “EMSL Analytical has 5 CDC ELITE proficient labs nationwide to assist our clients with their risk assessment monitoring for Legionella. The labs are located in Cinnaminson, NJ, New York City, Houston, Texas, San Leandro, CA and Indianapolis, IN.  We also offer strain typing using DNA sequencing to assist in the identification of sources following an outbreak.

For more information on EMSL’s testing services, please contact EMSL at (800) 220-3675, visit, or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical, Inc. is a full service testing company providing quality lab services under the same private ownership since 1981. Including the corporate lab facility in Cinnaminson, NJ, EMSL Analytical operates over thirty laboratories nationwide in the US and Canada. We provide analytical services for environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), industrial hygiene, forensics and materials science, consumer products, food safety, PCR, pharmaceutical, asbestos, lead, and radiological samples. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations, as well as state and federal regulating bodies. Please see our website for a complete listing of accreditations.


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