To control Legionnaires disease the Botany Bay City Council maintains a register of water-cooling systems in premises (including cooling towers) and warm-water systems in nursing homes. Owners and occupiers who install such systems must notify the Council under the Public Health Act 2010.
Legionnaires disease is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia caused by Legionella, a bacterium that may also cause a flu-like condition called Pontiac Fever. These conditions can affect everyone but vulnerable groups who are susceptible include older people with existing health problems such as respiratory disease or if they’re taking immune-suppressant drugs, heavy smokers and heavy drinkers.
Legionnaires disease occurs when someone inhales the organism that penetrates deep into the lungs, possibly though a contaminated aerosol from a cooling tower.
To safely maintain water cooling systems, business owners must arrange for a competent person to:
- demonstrate the disinfection process.
- 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.
The Council 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 the Council notified.
To register a water cooling or warm-water system or update information on the register, please contact Council’s Environmental Health Team on 02 9366 3537.