NSW Health has released the Legionella control regulation to protect the public from Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks caused by cooling towers. The new regulations have introduced significant changes to cooling tower systems management in NSW.
Following two outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in the Sydney central business district in March and May 2016, the Legionella Taskforce, headed by the NSW Health Chief Health Officer, worked with stakeholders to develop the new regulatory approach to managing cooling towers.
The new changes include:
- A new monthly report in the “Approved Form” for each system
- Compulsory Risk Management Plan (RMP) per cooling tower
- Annual audit for compliance to the RMP
- Each cooling tower requires the installation of a unique identification number
- The system must be maintained in accordance with AS/NZS 3666.3:2011 and serviced at least once a month by a “duly qualified person”
- A new penalty has been introduced for falsifying reports or results.
These new Legionella laws have a significant effect on the industry with an estimated 6000 RMPs required by law to be completed by June 2019.
Legionella Control Guidelines
NSW Health has also released comprehensive Guidelines for practical guidance on the legal requirements. This document details the roles and responsibilities, explains the risk factors, runs through the RMP process and outlines reporting, response and administrative requirements.