State Health Department Reminds New Yorkers of Deadline for Cooling Tower Registration

Following Outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease, All Owners of Cooling Towers Must Register, Inspect, and Obtain Culture Testing

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 15, 2015) - New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker is reminding owners of cooling towers throughout the state that they have until Wednesday, September 16, 2015 to register their cooling tower with the state Department of Health (DOH), inspect the cooling towers, and obtain bacteriological samples from the towers for culture testing.

Under emergency health regulations adopted last month, New York State is requiring the registration, testing, inspection, and certification of cooling towers across the state. The new regulations were issued in response to an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in New York City in August. To date, thousands have registered and outreach continues to ensure owners are aware of the regulations. The cooling towers must be registered with the state and regularly inspected and tested for bacteria. Depending on test results, appropriate action must be taken.

"Our experience with Legionnaire's disease this summer taught us that we must take a preventive approach to managing this bacterial illness," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker. "With the adoption of these regulations, we're doing just that. We need to be much more aggressive about keeping the public safe from this potentially deadly disease."

All cooling tower owners must use a statewide electronic system to register and report actions required by the new regulations, through the following website: Additionally, any owner of a cooling tower must develop and implement a maintenance program and plan by March 1, 2016. The plan must include a schedule for routine sampling for bacteria and for Legionella sampling, as well as conditions under which emergency testing and disinfection are required. Owners must maintain a copy of the plan and all maintenance records on the premises where the cooling tower is located. These documents must be made available upon request by local or state health departments.

The Emergency Legionella Regulations can be found here:
Information on Legionnaires' Disease can be found here:
For additional questions, the DOH general tip line can be accessed at: 1-888-769-7243