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Cooling Water Systems and Warm Water Systems


Building owners and managers are required under the Public Health Act 2010 to notify their cooling towers and warm water systems (regulated systems) with their local council if they intend to either:

  • Occupy a premises that has a water cooling system or warm water system; or
  • Install a water cooling system or warm water system in a premises that they occupy.

In addition, the Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Amended (Legionella Control) Regulation 2018, sets out clear requirements to ensure that regulated systems are installed, operated and maintained to prevent the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria. Legionnaire’s disease, caused by Legionella bacteria, can be a life-threatening condition.

A water cooling system is a cooling tower with associated equipment and pipe work. Cooling towers are most commonly used to deliver cool air into a building.    
A warm water system is one designed to heat and deliver water at a temperature of less than 60 degrees Celsius.

Ongoing Responsibilities

As of 10 August 2018, building occupiers are responsible for these 6 keys features listed in the Public Health Amendment (Legionella Control) Regulation 2018. These responsibilities include: 

  Key features – Occupiers Responsibilities
1 Risk Assessment of Legionella contamination, documented in a Risk Management Plan (RMP) – every five years or more frequently if required.
2 Independent auditing of compliance with the RMP and Regulation – every year.
3 Providing certificates of RMP completion and audit completion to the local government authority
4 Sampling and testing for Legionella and heterotrophic colony count – every month
5 Notifying reportable laboratory test results (Legionella count >1000cfu/mL or heterotrophic colony count >5,000,000 cfu/mL) to the local government authority.
Report to be submitted to Georges River Council no later than 24 hours after receipt by the occupier. 
6 Display unique identification numbers on all cooling towers.


How to Test for Legionella in a Cooling Tower | Manufacturers of ...

Mandatory Reporting

Public Health Regulation 2012 requires standard forms to be used for risk management plans, audit reports, monthly reports and notification of reportable test results.

Useful Links: 

For further information, visit NSW Health.

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