Case study – Post Flood Investigation Including Toxic Mould and Pathogenic Bacteria Testing

By s7_first on 23rd November 2016


Our client an insurance company were involved in post-flood rectification and remediation works to a domestic dwelling in East London. The property had suffered from ingress of water and sewerage due to nearby flooding and there were concerns over potential risks to occupant health on reoccupation from mould, fungi and pathogenic bacteria.  First Environment were called to investigate, collect swab and air samples and report.


To attend site, evaluate the area concerned, devise a sample strategy for surface and airborne microorganisms; take measurement for humidity, moisture and other general readings; and produce a detailed factual report.

Core Tasks

  • Inspection of affected area
  • Identification of areas affected by damp, water ingress and where rectification works had been undertaken
  • Sampling by swab and contact plate for surface microorganisms
  • Sampling of airborne bacteria, yeasts and moulds
  • Bacterial examination for Coliforms, Escherichia Coli, Enterococci and similar
  • Mycological examination for fungal examination for Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladisporium, Chaetomium and similar
  • Review of results and findings


As a result of the initial site visit and microbial tests the status of the premises with regards progress of the remediation works was established. Initial findings showed some remaining bacterial issues and areas of moisture requiring some further but not extensive remediation works.  A follow up visit was undertaken on completion of these works by the insurer’s contractor and the property shown to be restored to a safe and satisfactory standard for reoccupation.  The independent nature of the works and report being accepted for reassurance purposes by both the insurer and occupier.


By recourse to experience of similar investigations First Environment were able to attend site, identify affected areas and quantify the levels and types of airborne and surface microorganisms. Factual and clear recommendations enabled further targeted remediation to restore the premises to a safe level for reoccupation.


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