The New York City Department of Environmental Protection has noted that the filtration methods recommended by state and federal law do not necessarily cover the extent of possible contamination or pollution in the New York City water supply. Therefore, additional measures are necessary to ensure that the water is safe for the health and well-being of New York City inhabitants.
NYC Vs NY State Water Treatment
If you are responsible for operating cooling towers or other commercial water systems in New York City, it is important that you adhere to both state and local regulations. A skilled water treatment professional can help you to navigate compliance, but depending upon the type of operation you manage, the following regulations may apply.
Registration Of Cooling Towers
Although cooling towers themselves are not directly tied to water treatment, they are one of the most common areas that receive treatment due to their susceptibility to the potentially deadly Legionella bacteria.
New York City maintains specific requirements about how soon after a tower is built it must be registered, as well as how to keep up with documentation for the tower. The purpose of this step in compliance is to reduce the odds of a Legionella outbreak spreading through the heavily populated city by being able to trace the bacteria back to a certain registered tower.
Water Treatment In Cooling Towers
According to the law, all commercial buildings that utilize cooling towers must regularly provide water treatment to them in addition to their initial registration. Water treatment for cooling towers is mandatory because of how easy it is for Legionella to develop in this type of system, which often provides an ideal environment for growth and eventual outbreak.
Keep in mind, however, that your water treatment is also defined by compliance guidelines; a professional Legionella treatment company can guide you on how to choose the right chemicals, filters and other options that suit your specific building.
Water treatment comprises multiple steps, from chemicals and filters to water temperature and even adjustments to the physical makeup of your water system. Such treatment is highly preventative, but it can also be remedial if you have a current outbreak of not just Legionella but other problematic microorganisms and materials.
The Use Of Specified Biocides
Water treatment in a commercial building is not merely limited to whatever the owner or manager decides. Regulatory guidance dictates that at least one oxidizing biocide must be used during water treatment. Biocides directly affect biological material such as living Legionella, but as an additional advantage, they also remove biofilms and other problematic contaminants.
Biofilms can provide a safe haven for Legionella, shielding them from water treatment and offering a food source. Be aware that the company and person that you select to apply your biocides must maintain a 7G pesticide license as part of compliance with Local Law 77. You may not apply the oxidizing biocides yourself; leave this part of the process to a licensed professional.
The Role Of Secondary Disinfection
If a building needs (due to contamination by bacteria) or wants (as a preventative) to use secondary disinfection on its incoming potable water, the company in use must be certified to do so by New York City. This helps to ensure that water treatment is always conducted by a professional.
Water treatment is not a cookie cutter process, and the knowledge and skill of a professional is highly valuable in crafting a water management plan that not only tackles the vulnerabilities and unique composition of your building’s system and its water but also keeps you in compliance with the nuances of both New York state and New York City regulations. A professional can help you to understand whether secondary disinfection would benefit your building.
Rely On The Pros for NYC Vs NY State Water Treatment Regulatory Help
Navigating compliance between both state and city regulations can be a headache, since the city tends to be a little bit stricter than the state in some areas. In general, the most affected sectors are cooling towers and wastewater, since New York City is stringent about Legionella and the introduction of unwanted material into the watershed.
If you should fail to comply with NYC Vs NY state water treatment regulations, regardless of whether this misstep was accidental, you could see fines or other consequences. However, the experts at Tower Water set the standard in water treatment and would be happy to help you understand your responsibilities when it comes to water treatment laws in New York City and the state itself. Reach out to schedule an appointment to determine whether you are in compliance and what you can do to improve.