Editor’s note: This article was updated Feb. 16, 2018.
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — In order to ensure water safety, USAG Bavaria and U.S. Army garrisons across Germany will conduct a routine Legionella bacteria survey in all our communities.
Environmental Final Governing Standards for Germany now require the annual monitoring of bathroom showers for Legionella bacteria at locations meeting technical criteria throughout USAG Bavaria, to include on-post housing and tenant unit buildings.
The ten-minute sampling process requires an outsourced contractor from a German certified testing laboratory to enter your home for the collection of a hot water sample from the bathroom shower.
Samples are sent to the lab with results reported within 60 days. If Legionella is detected above the Environmental Final Governing Standards for Germany action limit, residents will be notified and corrective actions taken immediately.
The Environmental Final Governing Standards for Germany are a regulatory directive, aligning both Department of Defense policy and German federal and state regulations to provide environmental compliance criteria for all DOD installations.
All structures containing showers — which meet the technical criteria in accordance with an Installation Management Command Europe tasker for routine monitoring of Legionella bacteria — will receive notice of selection for participation.
A notification letter from the Housing, Utilities and the Environmental Division will be issued to residents from February through May 2018.
Environmental officials with USAG Bavaria note that this sampling is not connected to the current lead survey being conducted. Preparation measures differ for each of these surveys and some buildings may be subject to both, dependent on the technical criteria met for each.
Legionella is a type of bacterium found naturally in freshwater environments, like lakes and streams. It can become a health concern when it grows and spreads in human-made water systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
USAG Bavaria is committed to the health and safety of our Soldiers, family members and workforce. For more information on Legionella and why routine test monitoring is performed, visit www.cdc.gov/legionella/about/causes-transmission.html.
For questions regarding this testing effort, contact the USAG Bavaria Environmental Division at DSN 475-7711, CIV 09641-83-7711.
For any medical questions you may have about Legionella, contact MEDDAC-Bavaria Preventive Medicine at DSN 590-3966, CIV 09662-83-3966.