Last August, at the height of New York City’s largest legionella outbreak in history, Governor Cuomo enacted a number of regulations that any building with a cooling tower is required to comply with. Some of those regulations went into effect immediately, while others are still slowly rolling out. The “Maintenance Program & Plan” deadline is fast approaching and goes into effect in a few days on March 1, 2016. Are you ready?
According to Cuomo’s press service, your Maintenance Program & Plan must conform to the following guidelines:
“Maintenance Program & Plan– Any owner of a building with a cooling tower must obtain and implement a maintenance program and plan by March 1, 2016. The plan must include a schedule for routine sampling, as well as procedures for emergency testing and disinfection to destroy Legionella bacteria. Owners must maintain a copy of the plan on the premises where a cooling tower is located, and make it available immediately upon request.”
Hopefully, you already have a robust and comprehensive maintenance plan for your whole building, and these regulations will simply add a few items to your regular inspections and PMs. But if your maintenance plan needs updating, now is the time to get with it. In addition to the state-mandated testing and disinfection, here are a few activities to include in your plan to keep legionella at bay:
- Maintain anti-corrosion and scale prevention programs
- Store domestic hot water at 140°F and deliver it at a minimum of 122°F
- Install and maintain high-efficiency mist eliminators on cooling towers
- Regularly check the cooling tower for evidence of biofouling
- Maintain stringent recording policies to ensure preventative measures are taken in a timely manner
We went into greater detail on each of these activities in our post: “How To Protect Your Building From Legionella.”
State regulations can be a pain to comply with sometimes, but they can also serve as a good wake-up call to do what you already know you should be doing. If you’ve been operating with an incomplete formal maintenance plan for your cooling towers, now is the time to get on it!
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