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Legionella is found in moist environments and becomes a problem when dispersed into the air as an aerosol. Water cooling systems used to cool the air in large buildings need to be monitored to control Legionella.

Legionnaires disease is an illness caused by the inhalation of Legionella.

The information contained in this section is for building managers who are responsible for maintaining water cooling systems.

Contacting the Environmental Health Team

For further information regarding any of the information contained within this section, please contact Council's Environmental Health Team Monday to Friday 8:30 to 10am on 9911 6555 or send an email to

Control of Legionnaires disease

This section provides an overview of Legionnaire's disease and the role City of Canada Bay plays in its control. 

What is legionnaires disease?

Legionnaire's disease is an infection of the lungs caused by breathing in Legionella bacteria. Whilst Legionella bacteria is naturally present at low levels in the environment they have the ability to grow rapidly to dangerous levels in poorly managed cooling towers (used to cool large buildings) and warm water systems (used to provide instantaneous warm water). 

Role of the City of Canada Bay

There are approximately 30 registered cooling towers and warm water systems within the City of Canada Bay. Council's Legionella Management Strategy outlines our plan to manage Legionnaires disease. Under the strategy we undertake routine inspections and audits of registered cooling towers and warm water systems to ensure systems are installed, serviced and maintained in accordance with the law.

Please refer to the Legionella Management Strategy for more information.

Legislation, guidelines, standards and codes of best practice

Responsibilities of building owners and occupiers

As a building owner or occupier, you are responsible for ensuring that the cooling tower or warm water system within your building is installed, maintained and operated in accordance with the law. If you fail to meet these requirements, you could face heavy fines as well as imprisonment.

You should read all of the resources available on this page and ensure that you are aware of the requirements.

Please refer to the Responsibilities of Building Owners and Occupiers fact sheet for more information.


If you do have a cooling tower or warm water system, it must be registered with Council. Contact Council to ensure that your system is registered. If you are installing a new system, you have one (1) month to complete and return the Registration Form to Council.

Inspection of cooling towers

As required by the Public Health Act 2010, Council inspects cooling towers to ensure their compliance with the regulation and the operation of the system does not pose a risk to the general public. Inspections are carried out on a risk basis where high risk cooling towers are inspected yearly and low risk cooling towers are inspected biannually. During the inspection Council will check:

  • The location of the cooling tower is safe and easily accessible
  • The physical condition of the cooling tower ie. no rust, drift eliminators are intact
  • All chemicals are bundled to ensure water pollution does not occur
  • The operating and maintenance manuals are available onsite
  • The maintenance manual includes 
    • System information 
    • Start up and shutdown procedure
    • Emergency contact information
    • Annual Certificate of Disinfection
    • Monthly inspection reports
    • Bi-yearly cleaning reports
    • Three monthly microbiological results.

Please refer to the Cooling Tower Maintenance Manual fact sheet for further information. 

Annual self audit

Council requires all premises with warm water and water cooling systems to complete a Legionella self audit. The audit has been developed with the aim of assuring:

  • Council has an accurate register of all warm water and water cooling systems throughout the City, where they are located, maintenance contractors and emergency contacts
  • Systems are serviced, cleaned and maintained in accordance with Australian Standards.

The audit is forwarded via mail to all registered premises at the commencement of each new financial year.

To update business contact details such as your mailing address or building manager please complete and return the registration form to Council.

Inspections and fees

Water cooling and warm water systems are routinely inspected by the City of Canada Bay. A fee is charged for this inspection in accordance with Council's Fees and Charges.

For more information

Contact Council’s Environmental Health Team by sending an email to or phone Monday to Friday 8:30 to 10am on 9911 6555. Alternatively, you can view the documents below.

Forms, fact sheets and guidelines