Following the historic Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that happened last summer in the South Bronx, the city of New York enacted new legislation requiring all building owners to register and test their cooling towers. Both registration and testing of the cooling towers for Legionella bacteria were required within 30 days of the of the new legislation. Disinfection was required of any tower that tested positive. Further, regular inspections needed to be conducted to ensure the bacteria had not returned.
According to city officials, 3,619 building owners registered their cooling towers by the September 2015 deadline. Officials believe that this is over 90 percent of the cooling towers in the city.
“In this case we leaned to being over aggressive,” said Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris. “People got sick. People died. So I don’t think we had any choice.”
Shorris went on to say “If I have to make a trade-off between some amount of hassle associated with dramatically reducing the risk of the disease I’ll take that anytime. We went after every building we could think of that might have a cooling tower.”
The city of New York utilizes all sorts of resources from police helicopters and building inspectors, to Google Maps and issued over 1,200 violations for any building owners who failed to adhere to the new legislation passed by the city.
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