Quantitation of free-living amoebae and bacterial populations in eyewash stations relative to flushing frequency

Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1996 Jul;57(7):626-33. doi: 10.1080/15428119691014684.


This study investigated the concentration of amoebic and bacterial populations in eyewash station water relative to various flushing regimens. Amoebae concentrations averaged approximately 200 amoebae/100 mL in 13 of 15 stations positive for amoebae and consisted of Hartmannella and Acanthamoeba. Bacterial concentrations ranged from 10(0) to more than 10(5) colony forming units per mL. Amoebic concentrations differed notably between stations located in Buildings X and Y (p < 0.0001). Further study indicated that removal of diffusing screens did not substantially change (p > 0.05) the concentration of amoeba. Amoebic and bacterial concentrations temporarily decreased with the various flushing regimens tested. Lower amoebic concentrations were not sustained by a weekly 3-minute or a monthly 1-minute flushing regimen. However, weekly 3-minute flushes appeared to be more effective in maintaining lowered bacterial concentrations (p < 0.0001).

MeSH terms

  • Amoeba / growth & development*
  • Animals
  • Bacteria / growth & development*
  • Eye*
  • Humans
  • Maintenance
  • Therapeutic Irrigation*
  • Water Microbiology*
  • Water Supply / standards*