New York State Legionella Testing for 2018 Cooling Season Starts Soon

“But, it’s only February! You want us to think about air conditioning now?”

Legionella bacteria in cooling towers Legionnaires Disease

Although we are still feeling the bitter cold on a daily basis, warm spring temperatures are just around the corner.  Now is the time to make sure all of your Legionella-prevention items are in order.  As a reminder, all owners of cooling towers (including evaporative coolers) must prepare a Legionella Preventive Maintenance Plan (Plan) per New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Protection against Legionella regulations.  This plan should contain information regarding potential sources of contamination, physical and chemical disinfection of cooling units, and sampling requirements.  The Plan is to be kept onsite at all times, and is subject to NYSDOH inspection; facilities operating without a Plan are subject to punitive actions by New York State.  The good news is that there is still plenty of time to prepare your Plan if you do not currently have one!

Once the Plan is in place, the first step for owners of cooling towers is to determine a probable start-up date for their cooling system.  Cooling towers must be physically and chemically disinfected on a yearly basis prior to start-up; without this cleaning, towers are not only non-complaint with NYSDOH regulations, but also pose a much greater threat to public safety with respect to Legionella transmission.  Following this cleaning, an inspection and sampling event must be carried out by a qualified environmental professional to confirm the cleaning’s effectiveness.

Cooling Systems must be tested for legionella before start up

It is crucial not to leave this cleaning for the absolute last minute; erring on the early side allows much greater flexibility in case of an unexpectedly warm wave of weather.  This is especially important for non-residential applications.  Imagine that you are hosting several important client meetings or other significant events at your company’s headquarters; your clients will surely not be pleased to know they will be spending their day or week in a sweltering hot indoor environment because of a lack of foresight on your end. Make a plan to control Legionella before your cooling season start date.

Walden has been working closely with our clients since the onset of NYS Legionella regulations in 2015 to ensure that your facilities are in compliance and safe.  Stay one step ahead of the curve – contact Walden at (516) 624-7200, (518) 698-3012, or (845) 745-0888 to learn more.  Remember, there is still ample time to get your facility caught up before the 2018 cooling season!

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