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Institute of

AT Agricultural Technology


(No) Legionella in exhaust air treatment plants

Lead Institute AT Institute of Agricultural Technology

Taking a water sample in an exhaust air treatment plant
© Thünen-Institut

Investigation of Legionella in agricultural wastewater treatment plants

Currently, more than 1000 exhaust air treatment plants are in operation in Germany to reduce emissions in pig and poultry farming. Under certain operating conditions and circumstances, colonization of these air scrubbers with Legionella can not be completely ruled out. We will check that.

Background and Objective

In order to reduce the emissions of odor, gases and dust from animal houses in agriculture, various air scrubbers and biofilters are used. In a pilot study, genes from the pathogenic bacterium Legionella pneumophila were found in a biological air scrubber, but not living cells (Walser et al., 2016). The question therefore arises as to whether Legionella can be found in certain types of exhaust air treatment plants and can also be released into the environment.


In this project, the process water of 10 suitably tested and properly operated biological air treatment plants at livestock houses is examined with different methods on Legionella. So the health risk can be estimated.


5.2018 - 5.2019

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished

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