Cooling tower requirements

Registration Requirements

Legislation requires that all water-cooling towers and warm-water systems installed within the Campbelltown Local Government Area be registered with Council due to the potential health risks of Legionnaires' Disease.

The Regulated System (Water Cooling/Warm Water System) Registration Form(PDF, 96KB) is to be used by businesses wanting to register their cooling towers /warm water system or to change any registration details. NSW Health's Code of Practice for the Control of Legionnaires' Disease explains the legislative requirements for microbial control and outlines common and accepted practices to minimise the transmission of Legionnaires' Disease through hazard minimisation in air handling systems, water cooling systems, hot and warm water systems and evaporative coolers.

There are over 50 cooling towers within the Campbelltown City Council LGA and these systems are mainly used in association with commercial air conditioning systems and factory processing equipment. Legislation requires that the operators of these types of systems follow specific operation and maintenance procedures to minimise the likelihood of Legionnaires' Disease.

Operation and Maintenance Requirements

Water-cooling towers must be operated as required by AS/NZS 3666.2 "Air-Handling and Water Systems of Buildings - Microbial Control, Part 2; Operation and Maintenance".

A cooling water system must be equipped with a disinfection procedure that is in operation at all times and that is designed to control microbial growth so that:

  • The level of Legionella in the system is less than 10 colony-forming units per millilitre, and
  • The heterotrophic colony count in the system is less than 100,000 colony-forming units per millilitre

There must be safe and easy access to a cooling water system for the purpose of the cleaning, inspection and maintenance of the system.

Water-cooling towers must be maintained in accordance with AS/NZS 3666.3 "Air-Handling and Water Systems of Buildings - Microbial Control, Part 3: Performance-based maintenance of cooling water systems" that requires:

  • A risk assessment for a cooling water system must be undertaken by, or under the supervision of, a competent person.
  • Risk assessments must be audited annually

Cooling tower operators must ensure the required documentation is kept on the premises either as hard copies or electronically. Cooling tower operators must ensure that the required information is provided (in either electronic or paper form) on request by an authorised officer within 4 hours of the request.

Manuals must include:

  • Details of the plant, equipment and systems.
  • Recommended cleaning, disinfection and emergency decontamination procedures.
  • Details of the maintenance management program, inspections and servicing
  • Water Quality Monitoring

Unique Identification Number

The occupier of premises on which a cooling water system is installed must ensure that a unique identification number designated by the local government authority is displayed on each cooling tower of a cooling water system.

That number must be displayed on a sign affixed to the cooling tower, being a sign that:

  1. Has a minimum size of 148mm x 210mm (A5 size), and
  2. Is clearly visible to a person examining or inspecting the cooling water system, and
  3. Is made of a durable material.

Water Quality Monitoring

A cooling water system must be inspected monthly and a chemical analysis of the cooling water system must be carried out. A report prepared by a duly qualified person, in relation to the testing, inspection and chemical analysis must be provided to the occupier.

Samples of water must be taken from a cooling water system at least once a month, by a duly qualified person in accordance with AS/NZS 3666.3:2011. Samples taken must be tested for Legionella and heterotrophic colony count.

Where samples exceed 1,000 colony-forming units per millilitre for Legionella or if the heterotrophic colony count is greater than or equal to 5,000,000 colony forming units per millilitre, these results must be notified to the local government authority for the area no later than 24 hours after they are received by the occupier.

Council Inspections

Environmental Health Officers conduct annual audits and inspections of all registered systems to ensure that they are being properly maintained.

If you require any further information please contact Council's City Development Division on 02 4645 4000.

NSW Health Guidelines for Legionella Control in Cooling Water Systems

The NSW Health Guidelines for Legionella Control in Cooling Water Systems provide guidance on the safe and effective management of cooling water systems for all stakeholders. The Guidelines provide practical guidance on the legal requirements in the Public Health Act 2010 and the Public Health Regulation 2012.