Cooling towers and warm water systems

The Public Health Act 2010 requires Councils to regulate premises with systems which have the potential to transmit Legionnaires disease. This includes water cooling towers commonly used for air-conditioning or industrial cooling processes (e.g. ice making), and warm water systems such as thermostatic mixing valves and recirculating warm water systems used in hospitals and nursing homes.

Cooling towers

Step 1.Notify Council of new installations or changes to existing towers

You must notify Council within 1 month of:

  • New installations
  • Change of Occupier for installed systems

You much notify Council within 7 days of:

  • A change in the particulars of a cooling water system (e.g. replacement or addition of a cooling tower, change in emergency contact details, change in water treatment provider or maintenance company etc.)

Notify Council using the online form below.

Notification of Cooling Towers and Warm Water Systems

Step 2.Display ID number on cooling tower 

New installations will be issued a unique identification number (UNI) by Council once the system is notified.  Each cooling tower will have it's own UNI issued. All cooling towers must have their UNI displayed.

The letters and numbers must be displayed on a sign attached to the cooling tower which must be:

  • at least A5 size
  • clearly visible to a person examining or inspecting the cooling tower
  • made of durable material

Step 3.Submit certificate of completion for a Risk Management Plan to Council

The Occupier must arrange for a Risk Management Plan (RMP) to be developed at least every five years  (more frequently for higher risk systems).

The RMP considers the risk of Legionella growth and transmission from a cooling water system, and identifies actions and control strategies to reduce the risk.

The certificate of completion for the RMP must be submitted to Council within 7 days of receiving it. 

For information about who can carry out risk assessments see the NSW Health web page on Legionella control in cooling water systems - Competent person

Step 4.Notify Council of monthly Legionella test results      

The system must be sampled for Legionella and heterotrophic colony count every month.

It is the responsibility of the Occupier to notify Council within 24 hours of receiving a reportable test result (Legionella count ≥1,000 cfu/mL or heterotrophic colony count ≥5,000,000 cfu/mL). 

Please advise Council of reportable test results by emailing coffs.council@nsw.gov.au

For more information on reportable test results refer to the NSW Health Guidelines – Legionella Control in Cooling

Step 5.Submit certificate of completion of annual audit of Risk Management Plan

The cooling tower system and RMP must be independently audited every 12 months. The independent auditor will provide a certificate of audit completion to the occupier.

The certificate of audit completion must be submitted to Council within 7 days of receiving it. 

For information about who can carry out audits see the NSW Health web page on Legionella control in cooling water systems - Independent auditor

Step 6.Maintain Documentation on Premises

 You must ensure the following documents are maintained on site:

  • The current RMP and certificate of RMP completion
  • Audit reports and certificates of audit completion for the past 5 years
  • Monthly reports documenting the results of monthly inspection, maintenance including servicing, chemical analysis, and microbial testing for the past 5 years
  • The operating and maintenance manuals for the system
  • All records of the maintenance and service of the system

More information about managing a cooling tower

NSW Health - Legionella Control

NSW Guidelines for Legionella Control in Cooling Water Systems

 

 

Warm water systems

Step 1.Notify Council of new installations or changes to warm water systems

You must notify Council within 1 month for:

  • New installations
  • Change of Occupier for installed systems

You much notify Council within 7 days for:

  • A change in the particulars of a warm water system

Notify Council using the online form below.

Notification of Cooling Towers and Warm Water Systems

Step 2.Council will conduct an annual inspection

Council will arrange for an annual inspection of the system.

This will be completed on site or as a desktop survey depending on public health restrictions at the time. 

You can see what the Council's Officer will check during the inspection including records and documentation in Council’s Warm Water System Operation & Maintenance Inspection Checklist(PDF, 713KB)

Fees are charged for these inspections, see Council’s fees and charges

More information about managing a warm water system

NSW Health Policy Directive: Water – requirements for the provision of cold and heated water