Legionnaires Disease Legislation - Important Information for NYS School District

Action is required by Sep. 16, 2015

Emergency Legionnaires’ Disease Legislation: Implementation Required by September 16, 2015

Information & Action

As part of HUNT’s ongoing effort to inform and update our K-12 partners of new legislation or requirement affecting districts across the region, we are sharing the following with you:

On August 17, 2015 NYS adopted a new law that requires all cooling towers to be registered with the NYS Health Departments. This law requires inspection and certification of the treatment of the tower in response to a recent deadly outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease in NYC.


Legionnaires’ disease is a naturally occurring form of pneumonia that can cause illness among young, immune deficient and elderly persons. It is commonly found in cooling towers, outdoor water parks and domestic water system. The temperate conditions of these systems make a perfect breeding ground for bacteria that is usually inhaled with water vapor.

Your action is required

In response to the recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in New York City, emergency regulations requiring testing and inspection of building cooling towers statewide became effective on Monday, August 17, 2015 (the Effective Date). The emergency regulations will have broad applicability and require specific action to be taken within 30 days of the Effective Date, or by Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

Under the Department of Health (DOH) regulations, any owner of a building with an existing cooling tower must register the tower with the DOH within 30 days of the Effective Date. A cooling tower is defined as "a tower, evaporative condenser or fluid cooler that is part of a re-circulated water system incorporated into a building’s cooling, industrial process, refrigeration or energy production system." In addition, building owners must collect samples and obtain culture testing within 30 days of the Effective Date. Thereafter, testing must be performed every 90 days. If needed, immediate disinfection is required. All cooling towers must be inspected within 30 days of the Effective Date and thereafter every 90 days. By March 1, 2016, building owners must implement a maintenance program containing a schedule for routine sampling and procedures for emergency testing and disinfection to destroy Legionella bacteria. All cooling towers must be certified as complying with regulation requirements by November 1, 2016. Any violation of the regulations is subject to both civil and criminal penalties. Each day a building owner remains in violation of any provisions of the regulations will be considered a separate violation.

Don’t Over React

To obtain bacterial samples contact a local chemical treatment company.

To register your towers, upload samples or to view the law and requirements click HERE.

The legislation requires ongoing inspections and certifications by a PE. HUNT is capable to offer these services to our clients. For more information please contact me via email or 607-358-1031.

Wishing our K-12 partners a successful, safe, and healthy school year, and as always - we are here to help.


 Printer Friendly   Email A Friend    PDF Version  
HUNT ENGINEERS ARCHITECTS SURVEYORS Headquarters: HORSEHEADS, NY, 607.358.1000 ROCHESTER, NY, 585.327.7950 TOWANDA, PA, 570.265.4868
Website Design by inCommand Technologies