Regulated Water Systems

(Water Cooling Systems – Cooling Towers, and Warm Water Systems)

Regulated Water Systems must be managed safely in order to prevent the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria. Infection may cause Legionnaires’ disease, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. The Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 define the roles and responsibilities for managing cooling water systems and other regulated systems.

Management of Regulated Water Systems

Cooling water and warm-water systems must be managed safely in order to prevent the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria. Infection may cause Legionnaires’ disease, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.

Building occupiers are required to ensure that there are six key safeguards in place for their cooling water systems:

  1. A competent person must undertake a 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 ≥1000 cfu/mL or heterotrophic colony count ≥5,000,000 cfu/mL) to the Willoughby City Council  within 24 hours after they are received by the occupier
  6. Displaying unique identification numbers on all cooling towers.

Risk Management Plans (RMP), Audit Reports and Reportable Test Results

Since August 2018 NSW Health has required their approved forms be used for the submission of risk management plans, audit reports and reportable test results for cooling water systems. NSW Health also requires these forms, upon completion, be lodged with Council.

Download the NSW Health approved forms

The owner/occupier of a premises where a regulated water system is installed must also:

Register their system with Willoughby Council using the Regulated System Registration Form.

  1. Any changes to the owner, the occupier, emergency contact and changes to the regulated system must be notified to Council via the Regulated System Registration form
  2. Install, operate and maintain the systems and records in accordance with the Public Health Act 2010Public Health Regulation 2012Public Health Amendment (Legionella Control) Regulation 2018 and Australian Standard 3666 series.

Warm-water systems for hospitals and high-level care residential aged care facilities must also be registered with Council. Thermostatic Mixing Valves (TMVs) are the most common example of a warm-water system. Details of all TMVs at each property address can be registered on one form as one system if accompanied with a list detailing each TMV system.

There are statutory penalties for those who fail to comply with legislation. The responsible person is guilty of an offence if their tower is not registered with Council or has not been maintained as required.

For further information and relevant legislative documents visit  NSW Health.