Cooling Tower Legionella Regulations: What to Know and What to Do

legionella regulationsAs a building owner or manager, it can be difficult to navigate the complex legislation put forth by the New York City Council regarding legionella compliance in cooling towers. There are many requirements and hefty fines for non-compliance. So what do you need to know? And what do you need to do?

What to Know About Compliance with Legionella Regulations

While there are quite a few requirements, the ones most pertinent to operations break down into four categories.

1. Maintenance and Inspection

All cooling towers must have a plan for maintenance and inspection. Inspection processes are subject to their own regulations, and at the end of every year a credentialed inspector has to certify that maintenance plans have been followed – the owner must also sign this certification.

2. Legionella Sampling and Disinfection

Every 90 days, a water sample and culture test must be completed to protect against legionella. Depending on the level of legionella in your system, different corrective actions will apply.

3. Maintenance Program and Plan

Every building with a cooling tower must have a proper maintenance program and plan in place for emergency testing and disinfecting cooling tower systems. A copy of this plan needs to be kept at the location and be presented for review if requested.

4. Compliance Reporting

Every action taken towards the required maintenance plan will need to be documented. In addition, the New York City and New York State portals need to be continually updated.

What to Do About Compliance with Legionella Regulations

While the regulations fall into 4 major categories that effect operations, there are still many more specific requirements that will need to be addressed in order to remain compliant.

There are state and city regulations, which overlap at some points but differ in many ways. Notification procedures may differ depending on who you must notify and about what. Independent cooling tower-water systems will need to be registered separately. Both state and city regulations require “qualified” personnel to complete certain cooling tower activities, but the definition of “qualified” changes.

It’s a very complex landscape to navigate. Hiring a professional contractor with Certified Water Technologists (CWT) is the simplest, most effective way to remain compliant and maintain safe levels. Working with a professional on cooling tower maintenance, as well as compliance procedures, mitigates risk while saving you time and money.

NYC Cooling Tower Inspections & Services has been providing cooling tower services since the 2015 NYC outbreak. We understand better than anybody what your cooling tower needs. Contact us today to discuss maintenance and compliance.

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