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Effective July 1: New Florida Legislation for Cooling Towers and Legionella

Source: CDC and Tampa Bay Times

Building owners are no stranger to government regulations and tenant liability. Science has evolved to reveal new threats and understanding of our environments. Together, this leads to new industry standards and practices in the build environment. With Legionnaires' Disease on the rise after its discovery in 1976, new insight and laws are coming to the forefront. As an owner, knowing the concern and having a course of action is simpler than you think. Here’s what is happening.

This disease has ‘grown by nearly nine times since 2000’ according to the CDC. The National Academies of Sciences gives an estimated the number of cases range between 52,000 and 70,000 a year. Legionella is the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' Disease, which can lead to pneumonia. On average, 1 in 10 people who get sick from Legionnaires' Disease will die, according to the CDC. Legionella lives in water systems, and that is why keeping a buildings water system free of the bacteria is key to preventing infection.

Florida joins states such as New York, who have established legislation in response to the rapid rise of reported cases of Legionnaires' Disease in the United States. Florida legislation is the latest to make headlines (click here), and goes into effect on July 1, 2020. Measures include registration of all cooling towers with the Department of Health, monthly Legionella analysis, cooling tower overflow alarms, and required water meters for make-up and blowdown.

Want to stay ahead and minimize liability? Speak to one of our water technologies experts who is equipped to help you establish your team, identify risks, determine control points, identify control measures and limits, monitor your building’s water health, verify and validate your water program.

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