Legionella Testing - Is your Building in Compliance?

Steven Serrano is the CEO of NYC Cooling Tower Inspection and Services operating out of Queens, NY. Steven graduated in 1998 with a bachelor’s degrees in biology and has been in the water treatment industry ever since; he’s also a Certified Water Technologist.

The reason I asked Steven to be a guest on my podcast show is because I wanted him to share some of his expertise on the topic of legionnaires disease. For anyone who doesn’t know in 2015 NYC had its worst outbreak in the city’s history — 12 people died and more than 120 people got sick. The outbreak that started in the South Bronx resulted in strict mandates that most buildings must comply with today. Since there have been many mixed messages, as to what’s required, I wanted Steve to shed some light. As a consultant he typically gets asked a series of questions that most facility operators would like to know. I thought it would be a great idea if we shared that information. Be sure to listen to the interview, below are just some of the questions Steve answered, if you ever wanted a better understanding that you can review at any time, this is it, or you can visit their website at: http://www.nyc-inspections.com/

  • What is legionnaires disease or the legionella bacteria?
  • How is it caused?
  • Where can it be found?
  • How far does it travel?
  • How is it contracted in your system?
  • If my building has more than one cooling tower, do I have to register each tower separately?
  • What if my cooling tower has multiple cells?
  • Do I need to register each cell as a separate cooling tower?
  • If an outbreak is detected, do they have to notify the City and/or State? What happens if they don’t?
  • How long does it take to flush out your system if an outbreak is detected?
  • How do you notify the city or state agencies?
  • How do the City’s requirements differ from the State’s requirements?  
  •  If I registered my tower, and I’m missing documents, will I get fined?
  • Do I need to have my reports in hard copy?
  • The City and State requirements mention “microbiological” and “bacteriological” testing. What do those terms mean?
  • How often do these tests have to be done?
  • What if a cooling-tower on my site was decommissioned, do I have to register it?
  • Do I also need to disinfect my tower every 90 days? 
  • Will the City and/or State start requiring owners to test tap water for Legionella bacteria?

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Enhanced Building Solutions LLC, offers a “train and retain” turn key solution for training and development that embraces staff involvement around operations and maintenance. Building equipment technology is advancing faster than operators can keep up with and buildings account for approximately 40% of CO2 emissions in the United States alone. Training staff to operate buildings efficiently is necessary. Enhanced Building Solutions offers consulting services, virtual walk-throughs, producing mini video clips, in addition to online learning. Our training methods provide consistent information, saves on employee turnover, and minimizes liabilities. Nothing will ever replace hands-on learning but a blended learning approach will create an ultimate training solution. Are you ready to be a pioneer in the industry?

~Annmarie Bhola