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Martin Zartarian

Research Scientist II, New York State Department of Health

Martin Zartarian Martin Zartarian is a research scientist with over 20 years of experience in biology, ecology and public health research. Martin currently works with the Bureau of Water Supply Protection at the New York State Department of Health as a manager of the SafeWATCH program identifying risks associated with private wells. He also plays a key role in the evaluation, policy and resource development related to New York State’s Protection Against Legionella regulation, as well as monitoring harmful algal blooms in lakes across the state. Prior to working for New York State, Martin worked for New York City at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a Water Ecologist.

Reviewing the Do’s and Don’ts of Water Management Plans

Co-Presenter: Rachel Cicigline

Abstract: A sound water management plan (WMP) is critical for preventing legionellosis in health care facilities, where case fatality rates can reach 30%. New York State regulation 10 NYCRR Subpart 4-2, Protection Against Legionella, requires that all hospitals and residential nursing homes adopt and implement a WMP. As part of the nosocomial outbreak investigation response, the New York State Department of Health has developed a protocol for reviewing and scoring WMPs, and for providing feedback to health care facilities. Using a sample of 50 facilities, we compared scores from original WMP reviews to resubmissions after feedback. Approximately half of the facilities transitioned from their own WMP format to using the recommended template for their resubmissions. Facilities that used the template for their resubmission scored significantly higher on both their initial plan and their resubmission than those that did not.

We will describe the scoring protocol and summarize the results from the quantitative analysis and then discuss which components of a WMP are the most critical from both facility management and public health response perspectives. For example, failing to list specific sampling locations can negatively impact the ability to track changes in water quality over time, resulting in unnecessary delays and errors during outbreak investigations. Actual excerpts from scored WMPs will clearly illustrate the do’s and don’ts of drafting and implementing WMPs.