OSWEGO – The Oswego County Health Department announced today that new regulations affecting air conditioner cooling towers and recirculated water systems have been adopted by the NYS Department of Health. The new regulations are intended to protect the public’s health by preventing community outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease similar to the outbreak which recently occurred in New York City.
The regulation applies to all owners of cooling towers, evaporative condensers or fluid coolers that are part of a recirculated water system incorporated into a building’s cooling, industrial process, refrigeration or energy production system.
“The new regulation is now part of the State Sanitary Code, and is enforced in Oswego County by the Environmental Health Division of the County Health Department. All owners of facilities with cooling towers are required to register, sample and inspect such equipment by Sept. 16, 2015,” said Jiancheng Huang, Oswego County Public Health Director. “The state also requires owners to periodically report inspection and certification to a statewide information system, and report information concerning any disinfection that occurs. Any cooling tower found to have Legionella present must have it disinfected by a licensed commercial pesticide applicator.”
Registration and reports must be submitted electronically through the following website: http://www.ny.gov/services/register-cooling-tower-and-submit-reports.
The state Department of Health is providing free Legionella testing kits until the beginning of October.
Cooling tower owners may obtain a test kit by emailing [email protected] or by calling the department’s Legionella Call Center at 1-888-769-7243.
Additional information about the signs and symptoms of Legionnaire’s disease, the new emergency regulation, how to register and submit reports, and specific information for hospitals and nursing homes is available at http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/legionellosis/