High-risk manufactured water systems

Keeping cooling water systems and warm water systems safe for all.

Cooling water systems such as cooling towers and evaporative condensers found in commercial buildings, hotels, hospitals and shopping centres, are used to remove heat. Warm water systems are used to provide heated water in buildings and businesses such as childhood centres, primary and secondary schools and health care facilities.

These high risk manufactured water systems, if not well maintained, can accumulate large amounts of organic matter in which microorganisms such as Legionella bacteria survive, grow and cause illness such as Legionnaire’s disease. It is therefore vital that these systems are well maintained and healthy.

Notifying Council

All building owners within the city of Adelaide boundaries are required to notify council of any high-risk manufactured water systems. 

Please see full details and how to notify on the registration of systems page.

Inspection and sampling of cooling systems

High risk manufactured water systems within the city and North Adelaide are inspected by City of Adelaide Environmental Health Officers (EHOs).

Cooling water systems and warm water systems require an annual inspection which is carried out by our EHOs. An inspection involves a thorough investigation of the operation of these systems for compliance with SA Health’s Regulations and Guidelines.

The associated fees for annual inspections of these High Risk Manufactured Water Systems (HRMWS) is set by SA Health and prescribed in Schedule 1 of the Regulations. They can be found in the City of Adelaide's fees and charges schedule

In addition to annual inspections, random inspections may also be undertaken from time to time. This may occur during Legionellosis investigations.

As part of the requirement for Councils to annually inspect HRMWS, samples must also be taken from each of these systems to determine the concentration of Legionella present in the water.

  • In the case of cooling water systems, 1 sample of water is to be taken from each system on the premises.
  • In the case of warm water systems, 2 samples of water are to be taken from each system on the premises.

Please note sampling costs will be also be incurred. The current fee can be found in the City of Adelaide’s fees and charges schedule.

  • Annual registration of existing HRMWS is mandatory. Building owners have one month from when new HRMWS are commissioned and/or recommissioned to register with Council.
  • Annual inspection and sampling of HRMWS will occur.
  • Building owners must notify Council within 24 hours if they receive a high Legionella count from water samples taken from their HRMWS (cooling water systems - 1000 or more cfu/ml, warm water systems - 10 or more cfu/ml).
  • All cooling water systems (i.e. cooling towers, evaporative condensers) must be fitted with automatic biocide dosing equipment as specified in Regulation 7. 
  • All cooling water systems must be fitted with compliant drift eliminators as specified in Regulation 8. 

The owner of a building that has HRMWS onsite must have available for review at the premise for an Environmental Health Officer:

  • plans showing the location of all parts of the system
  • operating and maintenance manuals for the system that complies with AS/NZS 3666.2
  • An up to date log book recording information outlined in AS/NZS 3666.2 and microbiological test results of all water samples taken. In the case of cooling towers, the type and quantity of biocide used in automatic dosing and the frequency of dosing.

You may need to take corrective action if it is suspected that systems are not being maintained accordingly. Random sampling and inspection at cost to building owner may be required. Closure or prescribed decontamination where the operator fails to maintain system may also be required.

Penalties also apply for non-compliance offences including failure to register or notify of decommissioning.

Notifying council of legionella detection

You must notify council of high Legionella counts detected in your cooling water systems and/or warm water system within 24 hours. Penalties apply if this is not done.

Report high Legionella count

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding High Risk Manufactured Water Systems, please contact the Environmental Health team: