Phone:  (513) 206-3033

Microbial Contamination Assessments

Habitat Environmental performs comprehensive indoor environmental assessments to determine potential harmful exposures as a result of sewage contamination.  We develop and implement a sampling plan based on visual observation and moisture measurements following a sewer back up. Depending on site conditions, surface sampling is performed for bacteria associated with fecal contamination and fungal growth if necessary, as well as mold bioaerosols.

The bacterium Legionella is a potential health concern where HVAC air cooling systems are conducive to bacterial proliferation. Legionella contamination is assessed by water sampling and inspection of HVAC systems. We provide post-remediation assessments to determine if remediation efforts were adequately performed

Sanitary Sewer Overflows: Severe rainstorms and floods can put a strain on sanitary sewers and septic systems. Large volumes of storm water and ground water entering sewage systems can inundate them causing backups into basements and on to private property.  Sewage contains bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms and make a contaminated house unfit for living. If the flooded area is not dried soon, mold begins colonizing wet materials very quickly resulting in an additional microbial exposure. The health risks posed by sewage contamination are dependant upon the amount of sewage. The most common disorders associated with sewage contamination are bacterial gastrointestinal and skin infections, as well as fungal allergies in sensitive individuals.

Legionnaire's Disease: The causative agent of the Legionnaire’s disease, Legionella bacterium, is another microbial threat to indoor air quality.  These bacteria cause a form of pneumonia that can be fatal when a susceptible individual inhales aerosolized water containing the bacteria.

Legionella bacteria commonly exist in rivers and lakes, and some other water sources, generally in low numbers. Occasionally, these bacteria can get into artificial water supply systems, as may be the case with evaporative condensers associated with air conditioning and industrial cooling, or anywhere where artificial water is being supplied or used.  So, any large building with an air conditioning system that uses water for cooling might sometimes have the ideal environment in which Legionella can thrive.