The NSW Government has introduced mandatory monthly testing for all cooling tower systems starting January 1, 2018.
The new laws were introduced on December 1, 2017, which means a short implementation time for industry.
Previously cooling tower owners in NSW were not required to test for Legionella or HCC – which made the maintenance regime in NSW quite different to other jurisdictions.
Hydrochem CEO, Nick Duncan, said the majority of cooling tower owners conduct some HCC and Legionella testing – although it may not be monthly.
In addition to monthly testing, cooling tower owners must report test results that exceeds1,000 CFU/mL Legionella or 5,000,000 CFU/mL HCC to the local government authority where the tower is installed.
Duncan said these changes are two of the six recommended improvements to the existing regulations made by the Expert Panel and Legionella Steering Committee established by NSW Health in July 2016.
He said NSW Health was keen to implement part of the new framework prior to the start of 2018.
"Given the regulation has just been passed with a start date of January 1, 2018, there will be some hard work getting all stakeholders on board," he said.
"Our team will be working closely with our client base to get this significant change up and running by January."
With increased testing, Duncan said there could be an increase in high results being recorded.
Under the new law, results greater than 100,000 CFU/mL require remedial action as soon as practicable.
With Legionella, results greater than 10 CFU/mL will also require remedial action as soon as practicable.
The remaining recommendations of the Expert Panel and Legionella Steering Committee are yet to be introduced with NSW Health still finalising the details. The recommendations include:
Risk Management Plans developed for each cooling tower system
Independent auditing conducted every year
Certificate of RMP completion & audit completion lodged with Local Government
Unique identification number to be displayed on every cooling tower