A cooling tower is a heat reducing system used in air conditioning where water is used to cool the air. As water is stored in cooling towers, they can be a perfect breeding ground for Legionella and other bacteria to grow.
Cooling towers need to be maintained very carefully through inspections, biocide treatments and cleaning and they also should be regularly tested for microbial growth in order to prevent potential outbreaks of legionnaires and other diseases. Ideally, this could be an automated dosing/bleed-off device to supply control chemicals to the water.
In Victoria, the owner of any land upon which a cooling tower system is located needs to register each system with the Building Commission of Victoria and to prepare and implement a Risk Management Plan for each cooling tower system on their land. In practice, tenants such as the DEECD who are directly involved with the cooling tower on site, will often be the one to initiate the Risk Management Plan.
The formulation of a Risk Management Plan will require that risk assessments be conducted and regular reviews scheduled. Records relating to maintenance, testing and risk management plans must be retained on site for inspection purposes.
Cooling towers should always be installed and situated so that people conducting the testing and maintenance can easily and safely access all parts of the cooling tower.
This would be relevant if there were a cooling tower on your particular DEECD site.
Health Act 1958
Building Act 1993, as amended by the Building (Legionella) Act 2000
Health (Legionella) Regulations 2001
Building regulations 1994
Building (Legionella Risk Management) Regulations 2001
Plumbing (Cooling Towers) Regulations 2001
AS/NZS 3666 Air handling and water systems of buildings – Microbial control.