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AUGUST 2010

Professional FOR CO-OP & CONDO PROPERTY MANAGERS

Water Tank Inspection Rules

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WHAT’S THE RUCKUS? oof water tanks have to be inspected annually. But, even though the rules for those inspections were changed over a year ago – in June 2009 – many buildings, apparently unaware of these altered requirements, have received fines (ranging from $200 to $2,000) for noncompliance.

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Water Tank Inspection Rules

WHAT SHOULD BE HAPPENING hen requested, water tank inspection information is supposed to be made available to residents within five days. Additionally, a notice stating that the inspection information is accessible must be posted in a public location in the building. The notice should contain the name and address of the property and a phone number where an inspector or resident can ask for the inspection results. You must be sure that the results of each annual water tank inspection are being submitted to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). Written reports documenting the results of each inspection need to be maintained by buildings for at least five years from the inspection date, and these reports must be made available to DOHMH upon request within five business days.

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Water Tank Inspection Rules The severity of the fines is based on the seriousness of the offense. For example, a Bronx co-op missed two inspections and failed to post a notice of inspection results, but the oversights were the result of management transitions and a misunderstanding of the regulations, not wilful noncompliance. As a result, they were granted a hearing and reduced their fine from a potential $4,250 to a more manageable $700. Don’t expect a warning. When a violation is found, you’re issued a notice immediately and must appear before the administrative tribunal.

WHAT NONCOMPLIANCE WILL COST he building will face fines if the results of the inspection are not made available upon request, or if one of their inspectors visits the building and doesn’t see the notice with contact information. Failure to post a notice of where NYC WATER TANK COMPANIES the past five American Pipe & Tank Lining years’ worth of in11-42 46th Road Long Island City, NY 11101 spection records 212-736-6618 are kept could rewww.americanpipeandtank.com sult in fines up to Isseks Bros. $250, and failure 298 Broome Street New York, NY 10002 to prove annual 212-267-2688 inspection and www.isseks.com cleaning could reRosenwach Tank Co. sult in a fine rang40-25 Crescent Street Long Island City, NY 11101 ing from $200 to 718-729-4900 $2,000. www.rosenwachtank.com

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BE PREPARED FOR SURPRISE INSPECTIONS ou must also be prepared for surprise visits from city investigators throughout the year – not just when the annual inspection date rolls around. Be warned: these inspectors are not the same ones who look at your tank annually; they are a select group whose sole function is to see that residents are informed and know where to go to request the results of the annual inspection.

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Water Tank Inspection Rules verify the bacteriological quality of the water supply in compliance with Subpart 5-1 of the State Sanitary Code. Sample results shall be reported by a State-certified laboratory equipped to analyze drinking water, in accordance with the latest edition of the Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater...”

RECAP: WHAT THE REGS ACTUALLY SAY INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS rom the official documents: “The owner, agent, or other person in control of a building shall have the water tank inspected at least once annually. The inspection shall include the examination of the general condition of the tank, including but not limited to the condition of overflow pipes, access ladders, air vents, roof access hatches and screens. The interior and exterior of the water tank and its sealed edges and seams shall be inspected for evidence of pitting, scaling, blistering or chalking, rusting, corrosion and leakage. “Inspection of sanitary conditions, including the presence of sediment, biological growth, floatable debris, and insects in the tank and rodent or bird activity on and around the tank, shall be performed. The inspection shall include sampling of the water in the water tank to

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REPORTING AND RECORD KEEPING he official documents continue: “A written report documenting the results of such inspection shall be maintained by the owner, agent, or other person in control of a building for at least five years from the date of the inspection and such reports shall be made available to the department upon request within five business days. The inspection report shall state whether or not all applicable requirements were met at the time of inspection and provide a description of any noncompliance with those requirements.”

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Water Tank Inspection Rules tion. If water sampling analysis of the water tank finds non=compliance with the bacteriological quality standards as provided in Subpart 5-1 of the State Sanitary Code, this condition shall be reported to the department within 24 hours. If it is found that the quality of such water is attributed to the sanitary condition of the water tank, the owner, agent, or other person in control of a building shall clean the tank in accordance with Section 141.09 of this article. A water tank shall be cleaned whenever directed by the department to correct an unsanitary condition.” FOR MORE INFORMATION: Check out the Department of

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Health’s revised water tank codes at:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/notice/NOA-Article-141.pdf

CORRECTIVE ACTIONS he official documents continue: “When an inspection identifies any unsanitary condition, the owner, agent or other person in control of a building shall take the necessary steps to immediately correct the condi-

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