Biofilm is a collection of different types of bacteria, fungi, and protists in a colony enveloped in secreted slime that allows them to adhere to moist surfaces ideal for growth. Biofilm is one of the most common techniques for the growth and protection of these microorganisms and is not only a nuisance but a potential hazard.
Bacteria in the biofilm can be up to a thousand times more resistant to typical disinfectants and antibiotics than the same microorganisms grown in suspension.
Even if all free-floating bacteria are eliminated at a given time, biofilms allow for quick growth and recontamination of a surface or area if the associated biofilm is not treated.
Biofilm acts as an ideal breeding ground for the rapid amplification of bacteria and dangerous pathogens by providing ideal environments and nutrient deposits.
Why testing matters
Testing for biofilm in pipes and other water sources is one of the most important safety strategies that property owners can use. By performing regular evaluations, biofilm-forming bacteria colonies can be eradicated before they have an opportunity to turn into an outbreak of disease and infection.
Because you can find potentially dangerous pathogens such as Legionella in biofilm, it is important to check for its presence regularly. Vigilance can help property owners and managers prevent biofilm formation and protect the health and safety of employees and the general public. Being prepared with a water management plan is crucial, especially if a test does discover biofilm in water lines.