Special Pathogens Laboratory is accredited in accordance with recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories by two accrediting bodies:  American Association of Laboratory Accreditations (A2LA) and by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Laboratory Accreditation Program (PA DEP). PA DEP accredits the laboratory for meeting requirements of the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (NELAP). The accreditations by A2LA and PA DEP/NELAP demonstrate the operation of a laboratory quality management system and technical competence for defined scopes of testing water.

For the State of New York, SPL holds New York State Department of Health (NY Lab ID No: 12024)  ELAP certification in Legionella testing in Nonpotable and Potable Water categories and secondary ELAP accreditation for HPC. SPL is also registed in the State of Connecticut for Legionella testing in the Drinking Water, Non-Potable Water/Wasterwater category (PH 0125). 

SPL is also proficiency certified through the CDC Environmental Legionella Isolation Techniques Evaluation Program (ELITE) for testing all water types for Legionella by culture and participates in an international proficiency program through Public Health of England (PHE).


The American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) is a nonprofit, non-governmental, public service, membership society. A2LA provides comprehensive services in laboratory accreditation and laboratory-related training. In completing the A2LA evaluation process, SPL is accredited to perform the following tests (certificate No. 2847.01) on potable and non-potable environmental water and swabs:

Test Reference Method Test Method
Environmental Culture Test: Legionella  ISO 11731   SPL M01, SPL M04 
Heterotrophic Plate Count Standard Methods for the Examination 
of Water and Wastewater
9215E  SPL M03 
Environmental Culture:  Pseudomonas aeruginosa  ASTM International D 5246 SPL M02 


SPL is accredited by NELAP through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP Laboratory ID: 02-04660) to test drinking water for the following:

Test Method Primary
Heterotrophic Bacteria (Enumeration) SM 9215E Pennsylvania
Total Coliform and E. coli   SM 9223 (Colilert) Pennsylvania


  • Certified for Legionella testing in Drinking Water/Non-Potable/Wastewater testing by the Connecticut Department of Health, (PH 0125)

New York 

Legionella Proficiency Programs

Legionella culture and identification requires special knowledge and expertise not found in most microbiology laboratories. Our skill and experience gives you absolute confidence that the results you receive from SPL are reliable. Since 2008, SPL has participated in Legionella proficiency programs: 

  • The U.K. Public Health England (PHE)
    In 2007, no Legionella proficiency programs were available in the United States. That's why SPL started participating in the international program. The program in Europe serves laboratories of the European Working Group on Legionella Infections, as well as other interested testing labs. Managed by the U.K. Public Health England (PHE), formerly Health Protection Agency (HPA), SPL is one of the few labs in the US that participates in this program. 

    The PHE proficiency program is accredited by internationally recognized organizations and is used in more than 70 countries. The international organization of the European Working Group on Legionella Infections (EWGLI) recommends participation in the Legionella proficiency program provided by the PHE. 
  • CDC-Elite Program
    The Centers for Disease Control began a Legionella proficiency program called the Environmental Legionella Isolation Techniques Evaluation (ELITE) program in April 2009.  The CDC had recognized the need for laboratories to be capable and competent in performing Legionella testing. Some laboratories have failed to detect Legionella and outbreaks have occurred because the institution was unaware of the presence of Legionella in their water system(s).