New York State and New York City have recently issued regulations concerning Cooling Towers and control of Legionella. The main focus is the Management Plan and Program (MPP) which is based on ASHRAE 188, an industry standard that provides minimum requirements, while NYC DOMH Chapter 8 and NYC Local Law 77 stipulate additional required activities.
Healthcare facilities are also under increasing scrutiny and subject to more stringent requirements to eliminate Legionella bacteria in their water systems.
With this increased vigilance, facility managers in both health care and non-health care settings are increasingly challenged with how to efficiently comply with the environmental surveillance and prevention activity required for control of Legionella in cooling towers and domestic hot water systems.
The decision to conduct environmental surveillance must be made in conjunctions with a risk assessment to determine the sampling strategy and focus resources on the high-risk areas. The risk assessment also determines the short and long-term control measures to be implemented in the event that Legionella is detected or an occurrence of facility-associated Legionnaires’ disease is suspected. With proper planning, appropriate and expedient response actions can be taken, as required by the new regulations.