Legionella control

Cooling towers and water systems must be managed safely to prevent the growth and transmission of Legionella bacteria. Poorly maintained systems may cause Legionnaires’ disease, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.

In WA cooling towers, air-handling and water systems must comply with the:

Local government Environmental Health Officers have a statutory requirement to ensure building owners and operators of Class 3 to 9 (inclusive) buildings are complying with the legislation. This includes (but not limited to):

  • shopping centres
  • office buildings
  • universities
  • hospitals
  • hotels
  • aged care facilities
  • food processing and industrial facilities
  • drycleaners.
What is Legionnaires Disease

Legionnaires' Disease is a serious and potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the bacteria Legionella pneumophilia. People usually get Legionnaires’ Disease by breathing in Legionella bacteria in very fine droplets of water called aerosols.  

For more information read what is Legionnaires' Disease? 

Requirements for maintaining cooling towers and water systems

Building owners and operators must ensure the correct design, installation, operation and maintenance of air-handling, water systems and cooling towers installed in Western Australian buildings to protect the public from outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease and other airborne diseases originating from air-handling and water systems in WA.

Legislation and guidelines

Health and aged care facilities

Decontamination protocols

Legionnaires Disease outbreak investigation by local government

Local government authorised officers play a crucial role in investigating outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease. Read Legionnaires disease investigation by local government for details on the role of local government authorised officers and equipment that is required to support investigations. 

Legionella and garden soils

Commercial garden soils which include packaged potting mixes and bulk soil supplies have been associated with several cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in WA, as a result of exposure to the bacteria Legionella longbeachae.

Learn more about legionella and garden soils.

Last reviewed: 01-10-2020
Produced by

Environmental Health Directorate