The Environmental Final Governing Standards for Germany require bathroom showers in on-post housing and tenant unit buildings to be tested annually for Legionella bacteria, said Daniel Woernlein, USAG Ansbach Environmental Protection Specialist.
The testing was conducted throughout the community between April and July 2019, and included Storck Barracks.
“The 10-minute sampling process required a contractor from a German-certified testing laboratory to enter homes with Directorate of Public Works personnel to collect a hot water sample from the bathroom shower,” Woernlein said. “Samples were sent to the lab with results reported within ten workdays.”
If Legionella is detected above the Environmental Final Governing Standards for the Germany action limit, residents are notified and corrective actions are taken immediately.
This is the second year of the new annual testing requirement.
“This year, more than 95 percent of shower facilities in USAG Ansbach tested within standards,” Woernlein said. “The remaining buildings required further flushing and thermal disinfection of water lines until all facilities tested below detectable level.”
Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments like lakes and streams. It can become a health concern when it grows in high concentrations in manmade water systems that can aerosolize water, such as during use of contaminated shower heads and humidifiers. Water used for cooking and drinking typically does not pose a risk from Legionella.
USAG Ansbach environmental officials note that this sampling is not connected to the recently completed sampling of water in housing for lead by Installation Management Command Directorate-Europe.