Cooling towers

Inspections of cooling towers & warm water systems

Council's Environmental Health Officers undertake inspections of cooling towers and warm water systems, to ensure compliance with the legislation and standards to reduce potential public health risks associated with Legionnaires Disease.

Legionnaires' disease occurs when someone inhales the legionella organism that penetrates deep into the lungs, possibly through a contaminated aerosol from a cooling tower. Legionnaires disease can be fatal, so it is important to ensure that these systems are installed and maintained in accordance with the relevant health and safety requirements and standards..

Legionella can be controlled by proper water treatment procedures and regular cleaning. To safely maintain water cooling systems, building owners or managers must arrange for a competent person (who has expertise in the field, such as a tertiary qualified chemist, chemical engineer or microbiologist) to:

  • demonstrate the disinfection process used adequately controls microbial growth
  • inspect the system every month and clean it every 6 months
  • undertake regular microbiological water testing
  • ensure operation and maintenance manuals are on-hand
  • ensure a log book details all work carried out
  • certify the system each year.

Councils Environmental Health Officers can order a system be maintained or shut down if sampling finds evidence of Legionella. If you no longer use a cooling tower, it must be drained and Randwick Council must be notified.

Failure to comply with the requirements can also result in fixed penalty notices being issued for each system and or commencement of legal action. 

Building owners and managers are required to register their cooling towers and warm water systems with Council, to assist in minimising and managing any potential public health risks.

To register a water-cooling or warm-water system or update information on the register, please download the registration form below, and send it to us.

Detailed requirements and standards are contained in the NSW Public Health Act 2010, Public Health Regulation 2012, AS/NZS 3666.2:2011, AS/NZS 3666.3:2011 and the NSW Code of Practice for the Control of Legionnaires Disease.

Last Updated: 24 October 2022
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