Has The NYC DOHMH Received Reports Of Legionellosis Cases Occurring In Residents From Your Building?
Is there now a concern that a resident(s) may have been exposed to water containing Legionella organisms from the building’s potable water distribution system. The following information presented here is intended to help you understand and fulfill the requirements of the Order Of the Commissioner.
What Does the Letter Mean?
WHEREAS, between 2023 and 2023, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the “Department”) received a report of legionellosis, a communicable disease reportable to the Department pursuant to § 11.03 of the New York City Health Code (the “Health Code”) and § 2.1 of the New York State Sanitary Code (10 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 2, the “Sanitary Code”), occurring [where it was detected], [who was] exposed to water containing Legionella organisms from the building domestic water supply system;
The letter confirms that an individual (resident) has reported that they have contracted legionella from your building’s drinking water system. or a
The letter goes on to outline what the law requires you to do next according to a specified timeline.
What Happens Next?
WHEREAS, pursuant to § 11.03 of the Health Code, the Department is required “to conduct such investigation as may be necessary to ascertain sources or causes of infection, to discover contacts and unreported cases, and…[to]…take such steps as may be necessary to prevent morbidity and mortality” from such communicable disease;…
First, you will be subjected to an investigation to determine the source and cause of the infection – which makes good sense – and to discover if it is anywhere else, to prevent others from getting sick or dying.
What Do I Do?
WHEREAS, § 2.6 of the Sanitary Code further authorizes and requires the Department “to collect and submit, or cause to be collected and submitted, for laboratory examination such specimens as may furnish necessary or desirable information in determining the source of the infection or in assisting diagnosis….”
Here’s where our expertise comes in. Our experienced, certified and licensed team at NYC-CTIS (NYC Cooling Tower Inspections & Services) will develop a Legionella Sampling Plan and work with the DOHMH in order to obtain the representative sampling set for your building/facility. All on-going communication with DOHMH is mediated with our consultants. We work hand in hand with your building once we are made part of your legionella management team.
WHEREAS, pursuant to Health Code §3.09, “no person shall do or assist in any act which is or may be detrimental to the public health or to the life or health of any individual…or fail to do any reasonable act or take any necessary precaution to protect human life and health”;…
You are expected to make sure the disease is contained. We’re here to help make sure you minimize your liability by conscientiously doing what the law and common sense requires.
WHEREAS, §3.01(c) of the Health Code empowers the Department to take such action as may become necessary to assure the maintenance of public health; …
You have to follow the law and procedures. We’re here to help you do that.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that, upon service of this Order, you shall:
(1) Within 72 hours, solicit the services of a qualified consultant to assist in the development of a Legionella sampling plan based on an assessment of the building’s potable water system.
That is us! Our staff consists of qualified environmental consultants and certified water technologists. The NYC-CTIS’s team will develop a comprehensive Legionella sampling plan based on an assessment of your building’s entire domestic water piping system (drinking water systems).
(2) Direct the chosen consultant to contact [NYC DOHMH contact at (telephone), and/or [email protected] (email] within 24 hours of their selection to determine the actions necessary for developing the building’s Legionella sampling plan.
You provide us with the building contact and we’ll get the process underway. We will visit your facility to assist your building staff in the development of a Legionella sampling plan, which will include:
- An evaluation of the building’s potable water systems
- Review of the building’s EAF (environmental assessment form)
- Guidance from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
(3) Provide chosen consultant with any information they may request necessary to assess the risk associated with Legionella organisms in the domestic water system associated with [your address].
As your chosen environmental consultant, we will let you know what we need from your building staff in order to assess your domestic water systems.
(4) Provide chosen consultant and Departmental staff access to [your address] for the purposes of investigating the building’s domestic water system with regard to the presence of Legionella organisms.
Once you give us access, we do a complete assessment of the domestic hot and cold water systems for the entire building or complex. As part of our thorough process, we will:
- Describe what each domestic water system is heated through, such as hot water heaters/boilers, and where the water is stored, such as within storage tanks within their respective mechanical rooms
- Describe the physical structure, including number of floors, number of rooms per floor, number and location of sinks, showers and potable water fixtures
- Locate and describe mechanical rooms; for example, identify water-based devices that heat up and circulate the domestic hot water.
- Conduct a cross sectional sampling for every floor, with a sampling focus on specified areas of interest.
- Identify and locate occupied and unoccupied areas of the building.
- Record temperatures of strategic locations within your facility (i.e., return lines, storage tanks).
(5) Review the building domestic water sampling plan and any other documents to be completed by the chosen consultant.
After we’ve completed the assessment, we’ll provide you with the domestic water sampling plan for your review.
(6) Submit the building sampling plan to [name of contact at NYC DOHMH, at (telephone), and/or [email protected] (email) within 7 days of selecting the consultant.
We will submit, on your behalf, the completed legionella sampling plan to the identified contact at the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.
(7) Within 72 hours of an approved legionella sampling plan, we will perform all Legionella sampling tests in accordance with the sampling plan.
We will perform all Legionella sampling tests as laid out in the sampling plan document. Click the link for information about NYC-CTIS’s Legionella sampling technique and procedure.
(8) In response to any positive Legionella sample results, and if directed so by the Department, develop an Acute Remediation Treatment Plan (ARTP) that describes methods and corrective actions for controlling the risks of legionellosis from the building’s water system. Moreover, hire a 3rd party auditor to review this ARTP.
We will develop the Acute Remediation Treatment Plan in conjunction with a trusted water treatment vendor; a vendor that is licensed in NY State to apply chemicals into a potable water system. Additionally, we will help to introduce your building staff to a number of trusted third party auditors to help with this next process associated to the Order Of The Commissioner.
Once This ARTP has been approved by the NYC DOHMH and implemented accordingly, the ideal result of all of this is for the next round of legionella sampling to come back all negative. This specific type of negative Legionella results typically will lead to closing this case out for your building. However, if the legionella results come back positive after this remediation, then the above noted process will need to be reviewed, once again, and remediations of the domestic water system will continue until future legionella sampling return with all negative results.
This process is very time consuinungintensive and time