‘Order of the Commissioner’ Letter

You Tested Positive for Legionella in NYC

If you tested positive for Legionella, or have already received an official Order of the Commissioner letter from the New York City Dept. of Health & Mental Hygiene, the information presented here is intended to help you understand and fulfill the requirements of legionella remediation without additional fear or headaches.

What Does the Letter Mean?

WHEREAS, between [date] and [date], the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) received a report of legionellosis, a communicable disease reportable to the Department pursuant to § 11.03 of the New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) and § 2.1 of the New York State Sanitary Code (10 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 2, the “Sanitary Code”), occurring [where it was detected], [who was] exposed to water containing Legionella organisms from the building domestic water supply system;

The letter confirms that an individual or a hot and/or cold domestic water system at your facility has tested positive for the bacteria called Legionellosis.

The letter goes on to outline what the law requires you must do next according to a specified timeline.

What Happens Next?

WHEREAS, pursuant to § 11.03 of the Health Code, the Department is required “to conduct such investigation as may be necessary to ascertain sources or causes of infection, to discover contacts and unreported cases, and…[to]…take such steps as may be necessary to prevent morbidity and mortality” from such communicable disease;…

First, you will be subjected to an investigation to determine the source and cause of the infection – which makes good sense – and to discover if it is anywhere else, to prevent others from getting sick or dying.

What Do I Do?

WHEREAS, § 2.6 of the Sanitary Code further authorizes and requires the Department “to collect and submit, or cause to be collected and submitted, for laboratory examination such specimens as may furnish necessary or desirable information in determining the source of the infection or in assisting diagnosis….”

Here’s where our expertise comes in. Our experienced, certified and licensed team at NYC-CTIS (NYC Cooling Tower Inspections & Services) will develop a Legionella Sampling Plan and work with the DOHMH in order to obtain the representative sampling set for your building/facility. Our subsequent interpretative reports for your future Legionella findings are the most thorough in the industry!

WHEREAS, pursuant to Health Code §3.09, “no person shall do or assist in any act which is or may be detrimental to the public health or to the life or health of any individual…or fail to do any reasonable act or take any necessary precaution to protect human life and health”;…

You are expected to make sure the disease is contained. We’re here to help make sure you minimize your liability by conscientiously doing what the law and common sense requires.

WHEREAS, §3.01(c) of the Health Code empowers the Department to take such action as may become necessary to assure the maintenance of public health; …

You have to follow the law and procedures. We’re here to help you do that.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, upon service of this Order, you shall:
Legally you will be held accountable. So here’s how we help you to satisfy every item outlined in the Order.

(1) Within 72 hours, solicit the services of a qualified consultant to assist in the development of a Legionella sampling plan based on an assessment of the building’s potable water system.
That’s us. Our staff consists of a Legionella consultant with the highest water treatment credential: Certified Water Technologist. The NYC-CTIS’s team will develop a comprehensive Legionella sampling plan based on an assessment of your building’s entire domestic water piping system (drinking water systems).

(2) Direct the chosen consultant to contact [NYC DOHMH contact at (telephone), and/or email@health.nyc.gov (email] within 24 hours of their selection to determine the actions necessary for developing the building’s Legionella sampling plan.

You provide us with the contact and we’ll get the process underway. We will visit your facility to assist your building staff in the development of a Legionella sampling plan, which will include:

  • An evaluation of the building’s potable water systems
  • Review of the building’s EAF (environmental assessment form)
  • Guidance from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

(3) Provide chosen consultant with any information they may request necessary to assess the risk associated with Legionella organisms in the domestic water system associated with [your address].
As your chosen legionella remediation consultant, we’ll let you know what we need from you to assess your domestic water systems.

(4) Provide chosen consultant and Departmental staff access to [your address] for the purposes of investigating the building’s domestic water system with regard to the presence of Legionella organisms.

Once you give us access, we do a complete assessment of the domestic hot and cold water systems for the entire building or complex. As part of our thorough process, we will:

  • Describe what each domestic water system is heated through, such as hot water heaters/boilers, and where the water is stored, such as within storage tanks within their respective mechanical rooms
  • Describe the physical structure, including number of floors, number of rooms per floor, number and location of sinks, showers and potable water fixtures
  • Locate and describe mechanical rooms; for example, identify water-based devices that heat up and circulate the domestic hot water.
  • Conduct a cross sectional sampling for every floor, with a sampling focus on specified areas of interest.
  • Identify and locate occupied and unoccupied areas of the building.
  • Record temperatures of strategic locations within your facility (i.e., return lines, storage tanks).

(5) Review the building domestic water sampling plan and any other documents to be completed by the chosen consultant.

After we’ve completed the assessment, we’ll provide you with the domestic water sampling plan for your review.

(6) Submit the building sampling plan to [name of contact at NYC DOHMH, at (telephone), and/or email@health.nyc.gov (email) within 7 days of selecting the consultant.

We will submit, on your behalf, the completed sampling plan to the identified contact at the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.

(7) Within 48 hours of sampling plan approval by the Department, perform all Legionella sampling tests in accordance with the sampling plan.

We will perform all Legionella sampling tests as laid out in the sampling plan document. Click the link for information about NYC-CTIS’s Legionella sampling technique and procedure.

(8) In response to any positive Legionella sample results, and if directed so by the Department, prepare and submit for approval, a Remediation Plan that addresses, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:

a. A short-term remediation plan, to be submitted within 72 hours, describing methods and corrective actions for controlling the risks of legionellosis from the building’s water system. The short-term remediation plan must be substantially implemented within 96 hours of approval by the Department.

We will develop a short-term remediation plan to chemically disinfect your domestic water system (s) with chlorine dioxide (a powerful EPA-approved chemical) and submit the plan for approval within the required 72 hours. Upon approval, a number of 7G category licensed professionals will come to your facility and implement the short-term remediation plan within the required 96 hour timeframe.

b. Long-term remediation plan describing the water system management and the ongoing operational methods for controlling and monitoring the growth of Legionella within the building’s domestic water supply system. A draft of this plan must be presented to the Department no later than 30 days after being directed to complete a remediation plan,

Long-term legionella remediation plans are designed to protect you by controlling the risks of legionellosis from recurring in your building’s water system. We will develop a custom water system management plan that is easy to implement and follow. We will deliver this long-term plan for approval within the required 30 days.

(9) Immediately implement the Short- and Long-term Remediation Plans following review and approval by the Department.

As soon as approval is granted, our experienced team knows exactly what is required and we’ll get the job done, headache-free, so you can carry on with your usual business day.

warning
WARNING: It is ill-advised to allow a water treatment vendor to inspect their own chemical program. To reduce risk and liability, you are best served by independent, unbiased testing from certified water treatment experts. Your ideal option is to have your Legionella concerns managed by an experienced Certified Water Technologist.