Cooling towers

Principals and school staff must follow the Cooling Towers Policy, Cooling Towers Procedure and Resource section which are available in the Policy and Advisory Library (PAL).

Corporate and regional staff should refer to the following information.

Cooling tower

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.

Relevant sections of the OHSMS


Where/when would these issues be relevant?

This is relevant for the department's sites where a cooling tower system is installed

What do you need to do?

In Victoria, the owner of the building in which a cooling tower system is installed needs to register each system with the Department of Health.

​Location​What do you need to do?
​Regional / Central Office

Check that your Shared Services Provider is registering the cooling tower system with the Department of Health.

Request a copy of the completed registration documentation.

 Ensure that the Shared Services Provider has:

  • developed a Risk Management Plan that includes the following risk factors:
    • stagnant water
    • nutrient growth, including the presence of algae
    • poor water quality
    • deficiencies in the cooling tower, including issues with physical design and condition
    • location of and public access to a cooling tower of system.
  • retained all test certificates and maintenance records.

Legislation, guidance and compliance codes

  • Building Act 1993
  • Building (Legionella) Act 2000
  • Building Regulations 2018
  • Building (Legionella Risk Management) Regulations 2001, No 14/2001
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017
  • Plumbing (Cooling Towers) Regulations 2008
  • Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
  • Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019

Contact us

OHS Advisory Service on ph. 1300 074 715 or email:

Further information