Cooling Tower Compliance in NYC: Who’s Responsible?

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In New York City, cooling tower compliance with regulations is important for the health and safety of NYC residents, as past outbreaks of legionella in cooling towers have proven to be fatal. It’s also important for financial wellbeing, as a legionella outbreak can cause unnecessary and costly downtime for your business.

A recent nationwide study by the CDC found that 84% of cooling towers test positive for legionella. While NYC is currently the only city to have cooling tower regulations, the study nevertheless reveals just how susceptible cooling towers are to legionella growth.

Strict cooling tower compliance is important to prevent legionella growth, but who’s responsible for compliance? What all needs to be done?

Cooling Tower Compliance Starts with the Building Owner

A building owner is responsible for several high-level duties regarding compliance with cooling tower regulations. A building owner often has the most at stake financially in cooling tower compliance, too.

NYC regulations state the following as the duties of the building owner:

  • Assemble management and maintenance team
  • Register cooling tower system
  • Notify Health Department if decommissioning tower
  • File annual certification
  • Keep all sample and inspection results, maintenance records, cleaning and disinfection records, water quality monitoring records, and a copy of the Maintenance Program and Plan (MPP)
  • Provide checklist for routine system monitoring
  • Communicate to team members in accordance with MPP
  • Review and sign off on MPP

The building owner is responsible for much of the oversight and management processes for cooling tower compliance. Much of the effectiveness of cooling tower inspection, maintenance and compliance is on the shoulders of the building owner, though they’re not the only person involved.

Building owners often choose to work with 3rd party resources not only for the time and cost savings it affords, but for the peace of mind knowing their cooling tower compliance initiatives are being handled by experts.

Working on their own, the building owner must also manage a Responsible Person, Qualified Person, Biocide Applicator, NYS-Certified Lab, and other individuals involved whose role is defined by NYC regulations.

Responsibility for cooling tower compliance, on any level of maintenance and management, can be shared with a 3rd party resource. Often these 3rd parties are experts in biocide application, certified water technologists and/or have in-depth knowledge of NYC legionella legislation and regulations. Working with a 3rd party resource, not only protects the building but alleviates the building owner’s stress and workload.

Protect your business and your building occupants – learn more about cooling tower compliance in NYC.



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