Cooling Tower Inspection & Legionella Policy for Stony Brook University

Development of a campus-wide environmental policy for legionella control; inspection of campus cooling towers and condensers

Following the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in the South Bronx, New York in July and August 2015, New York State implemented statewide regulations (NYCRR Part 4 Title 10) requiring the registration, testing, inspection, and certification of all cooling towers. Stony Brook University (SBU), comprised of the University campus, the University Hospital, and the Long Island State Veterans Home, has cooling towers located at buildings at all three of the mentioned areas.

We developed a manual, “Cooling Tower and Evaporative Condenser Maintenance Manual for the Prevention of Legionella,” for SBU to provide a campus-wide standard environmental policy and set of procedures to prevent, control and respond to any potential for legionella contamination at its multiple cooling towers.

PWGC provided the following services:

  • Performed inspections at numerous cooling towers and evaporative condensers to learn more about the specific equipment used at the buildings

  • Researched current industry standards and guidelines and coordinated with the NYSDOH throughout the manual development to ensure compliance with applicable regulations (ASHRAE Standard 188-2015 (Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems)) and industry standards

  • Developed a “Cooling Tower and Evaporative Condenser Maintenance Manual for the Prevention of Legionella” for the Stony Brook University campus. The manual included collaboration with the Environmental Health and Safety department, as well as the chemical treatment companies currently treating the cooling towers at the campus. PWGC included information for the design and siting of cooling towers and evaporative condensers, the system start-up and shut down procedures, information on sampling requirements, qualifications for sampling performance, interpreting and how to respond to sample results, notifications and documentation, and how to respond to a case. Minimum requirements and checklists/forms were provided for ease and consistency of inspections as well.

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