NYC Council Passes Water Tank Inspection / Maintenance Legislation

The Plumbing Foundation is pleased to inform the industry that on April 9, 2019, the New York City Council passed Intro. No. 1157-B, which establishes qualification requirements for those inspecting and cleaning, coating, and painting water tanks. We commend the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Health Committee, as well as the co-Sponsors, and the entire City Council for passing legislation that ensures that water tanks are properly maintained. The City Council passed several other bills in the package, including on the reporting of inspections, to further strengthen the laws surrounding water tanks. There have been several reports of contamination and neglect of inspections and maintenance of the City’s water tanks. Click here to read a recent article covering the issue.

The Plumbing Foundation worked closely with the City Council on Intro. No. 1157-B, which for the first time in the NYC Administrative Code and the Health Code defines a water tank inspector as (i) a licensed master plumber pursuant, (ii) a person who works under the direct and continuing supervision of such a licensed master plumber, or (iii) a registered design professional. Prior to this legislation, the law was silent on who is required to conduct such inspections, which were commonly done by landlords and building owners themselves. Requiring that the inspector is a qualified and experienced person will ensure the integrity of such inspections and the health of NYC residents.

Intro. No. 1157-B also establishes more stringent criteria for those cleaning, coating, and painting water tanks. The new legislation will now make sure that the person conducting maintenance on water tanks is either a water tank inspector (i.e. a licensed plumber, someone working directly for a licensed plumber, or a registered design professional) or is a person who holds a commercial pesticide applicator certification in category 7G issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or works under the direct supervision of a person holding such certification.

Establishing clear criteria for who can maintain a water tank will decrease the instance of contamination and increase the safety of the necessary potable water source from diseases like E. coli and Legionnaires’.