Water Testing and Sampling

Working with a leading UKAS accredited and DEFRA approved microbiological testing laboratory, we offer integrated water testing, sampling and analysis services. Whether you need routine testing as part of your regular monitoring and compliance regime, or one-off analysis of water samples due to an unexpected water hygiene problem, we can help.

Together with our lab partner, we provide a comprehensive testing service with fast turnaround on results, including Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) analysis to deliver laboratory findings within 48 hours, alongside standard culture procedures which normally generate results within about 10 days.

Types of test

Whether you need to undertake routine sampling and testing of your water system as part of ongoing monitoring procedures, or require emergency analysis due to a suspected problem, we can assist with fast and accurate testing for Legionella, Pseudomonas, TVC, E-coli and other bacteria. Our engineers are trained in taking all forms of water sample and we have a quality approved process for handling and transporting samples safely.

Legionella testing

We offer two types of testing for Legionella, which is a bacteria with around 50 different species and serogroups, of which Legionella pneumophila is the variant which causes Legionnaires’ disease. For a culture test the organism is isolated in the lab using centrifugation or filtration and then cultured on agar. The genus can take up to 10 days to grow but this test provides accurate and detailed results of the exact species of the bacteria and the bacterial count.

For faster results (under 48 hours), we use the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method which can quickly tell us if Legionella is present in a sample when time is of the essence.

Pseudomonas testing

Again, there are different tests which can be done to detect Pseudomonas bacteria in a water supply. Certain species, such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, are opportunistic and increasingly resistant to antibiotics, so it’s very important to identify problems in a timely manner. If there is cause for concern, a swab test can be done quickly and easily. In other situations a filtration and culture test is more appropriate and can reveal the bacterial count as well as identify the exact species.


A TVC (total viable count) test estimates the number of living micro-organisms in a set volume of sample. This may include bacteria, yeasts and moulds and there are different test parameters for different samples. TVC testing is particularly useful for trend analysis over time, to monitor bacterial levels at different stages of the year or in different conditions. If the TVC varies significantly from test to test we would investigate further and recommend control measures to address the issue.

Urban Environments are one of only a handful of companies utilised by IHG who have continuously operated at a high level whilst developing their systems and processes and retaining quality and value throughout a period of over 15 years.

Ian Mann, Risk Manager for Continental Europe, UK & Ireland, InterContinental Hotels Group

Testing procedures

Our testing procedures are audited by the Legionella Control Association annually as part of the membership certification process.

Developed in conjunction with our laboratory partner, our approved sampling methodology covers all aspect of taking samples, including how, where and when to take a sample, the exact method and equipment to be used, a step-by-step guide to sampling and clear instructions on safe, secure and fast courier transportation of the sample to the lab.