Health officials traced the source of the outbreak to the south Bronx after five of the seventeen cooling towers inspected for legionella bacteria tested positive, according to USA Today. All five towers have been disinfected and are being monitored by health officials.
The sites with positive tests must submit long-term plans on protecting the cooling towers from any return of the bacteria. Mayor Bill de Blasio has gone on record saying a comprehensive package of new legislation would be announced this week to halt future outbreaks of Legionnaires', with emphasis on long-term prevention. Also adding that outbreaks of the disease have become far too common over the past ten years.
Long awaited industry guidance on legionellosis is now available in a new standard from ASHRAE. The document establishes minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building and maintaining water systems.
Specific requirements in the standard include:
- Minimum Legionella risk management requirements for buildings and their associated potable and non-potable water systems.
- Establishment by building owners of a Program Team and a Water Management Program, for which they are responsible in order to comply with the standard.
- Provision of specific and detailed requirements for what Legionella control strategies must accomplish and how they are to be documented, but not providing or placing restrictions on what specific strategies are to be used or applied.
For more questions on how you can actively prevent legonella in your cooling towers, contact us at Plymouth Technology!