Public Health – Legionella Control (cooling water and warm water systems)
Water cooling and warm water systems cover a range of systems and devices used to filter, cool or warm air and water. They are used in places like nursing homes, childcare centres, hospitals, commercial premises, and industrial buildings and include:
Due to their nature, it is important that these systems are functioning effectively to help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. There are obligations that apply to building owners/occupiers and Council to prevent the spread of this disease in our community.
Council maintains a Register of these systems and conducts an inspection program. Failure to meet the public health standards can result in enforcement action, fines or prosecution.
All systems must be registered, a unique identifier number will be issued and this must be displayed. An inspection by an Authorised Officer of Council or NSW Health can be conducted at any time.
A Notification form can be found under Related Information.
From 10 August 2018, building occupiers are required to ensure that there are six key safeguards in place for their cooling water systems:
Risk assessment of Legionella contamination, documented in a Risk Management Plan (RMP) – every five years (or more frequently if required)
Independent auditing of compliance with the RMP and Regulation – every year
Providing certificates of RMP completion and audit completion to council – every year
Sampling and testing for Legionella and heterotrophic colony count – every month
Notifying reportable laboratory test results (Legionella count ≥1000 cfu/mL or heterotrophic colony count ≥5,000,000 cfu/mL) to council – each occurrence
Displaying unique identification numbers on all cooling towers. Council will provide you with your numbers on Registration, refer to Related Information for a Notification form.
The requirements for building occupiers to test for Legionella bacteria on a monthly basis and notify high ‘reportable test results’ to the local government authority commenced on 1 January 2018.
What are the responsibilities of building owner/occupiers?
Proper installation, maintenance and cleaning of the systems is a requirement under the Public Health Act and Regulations
Register your system with Council. Download the form in Related Information on the main page to notify us of your system.
Following notification, if details change, you are required to notify Council within 7 days. Simply complete the form and submit to Council for free.
- NSW Health have more information for occupiers and owners on their website.
What information does Council need to register my system?
The occupier of the part of premises where a regulated system is installed must notify the local council of the following particulars:
the type of system
the address of the premises on which the system is installed
the name, and the residential and business addresses, of the owner of the premises and,
if the operation area on the premises is occupied otherwise than by the owner, those particulars in relation to the occupier
the telephone numbers at which, during business hours and after business hours, the person or persons referred to in the above point may be contacted.
This information is required to ensure that access to the system is available in an emergency.
Use the form Notification of Installed water cooling or warm water system to provide these details to Council
More information and fact sheets on legionella control can be found on the NSW Health website
This page was last updated on: 13 April 2021