New CT requirements NSW – 2018
New requirements for managing cooling water systems in NSW – 2018
SYDNEY, NSW – 14 September 2018
New requirements for managing cooling water systems have come into force in NSW, to better prevent the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria.
Cooling towers and Legionella
Legionella bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ disease, a severe infection of the lungs similar to pneumonia. It is caused by bacteria of the Legionella family, specifically Legionella pneumophila, and can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
Outbreaks in NSW and elsewhere in Australia are sometimes associated with contaminated cooling towers. Here poorly maintained installations can lead to the growth of the bacteria if the water becomes stagnant or too warm.
Regular inspections, disinfection and maintenance of cooling towers and plumbing systems is the only way to limit the growth of the Legionella bacteria.
What is new in the regulations?
According to NSW Health the Public Health Regulation 2012 have been strengthened in 2018 to, ‘require a performance based (or risk management) approach to managing cooling water systems. This approach allows each system to be managed according to its risk of Legionella contamination’.
From 10 August 2018, building occupiers are required to ensure the following safeguards are 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 the local government authority.
- 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 the local government authority.
- Displaying unique identification numbers on all cooling towers.
The new guidelines – NSW Guidelines for Legionella Control in Cooling Water Systems – also highlights risk categories and risk factors to be identified, assessed, and controlled, specifically poor water quality, that is fouled by corrosion and scale, with a high presence of total dissolved solids and suspended solids. It is also highlights the dangers of an Ineffective microbial control program.
A performance based approach to managing cooling water systems
In the past many operators decided to protect their equipment by purchasing water treatment equipment that ensure they only met the minimum requirements, a factor that greatly contributed to outbreaks of Legionella disease. With the new recommendations in place, water cooling systems should be fully automatic to provide as a minimum:
- Disinfection control
- pH control
- Conductivity/ TDS measurement with automatic Bleed control
- A number of chemical feed programs to control corrosion inhibitors, biocides, dispersants etc.
CHEMTROL® Programmable Controllers can help your installation comply with the updated regulations
Our fully featured range of Programmable Controllers can help your installation comply with the updated regulations that came into force on 10 August 2018.
Our range of controllers are suitable for applications include cooling towers, boilers, and other industrial applications, and are capable of ensuring corrosion, scaling fouling, microbial growth – including the growth of Legionella – are monitored and prevented. Alerts notify you if scaling or corrosive conditions develop, and you can also track this data 24/7 via our ethernet connected controllers. There is also the capability to have your controller connected to with your BMS system via 4-20mA signal or Modbus protocol. All controllers come with an industry-leading 5 year electronics warranty.
Want to learn more? Our selection chart can help you decide which CHEMTROL® controller is right for your cooling tower. Or get in touch on 1300 585 820 for more information about out range.