Cooling towers are involved in any process that includes cooling, and are common in towns and cities across the UK. Air conditioning systems in buildings such as office blocks, hospitals and factories, will utilise cooling towers, as will any industrial system that requires a cooling process.
Why are cooling towers dangerous?
Cooling towers are high risk environments for potentially contracting legionnaires disease. Legionnaires disease can result in hospitalisation and in some cases it can be fatal.
As the water within the cooling tower cools, aerosols are created, which get blown into the atmosphere. If the water within the cooling tower is infected with legionella bacteria, the aerosols will also be infected, and anyone who inhales the aerosols is at risk of contracting legionnaires disease.
Cooling towers are common in a range of organisations that are open to the public, such as universities, stadiums and cinemas, so it’s always important to be aware of any visitors or staff working close to water cooling towers.
How do you ensure the safety of cooling towers?
Registration of cooling towers
From a monitoring perspective, it is a legal requirement that every cooling tower in the UK must be registered with the relevant local authority. If there is an outbreak of legionnaires disease within an area, the local authority can monitor the outbreak, contact all those responsible for cooling towers, and locate the origin of the bacteria.
How often should cooling towers be monitored and tested?
It is essential that cooling towers are tested and treated to control the spread of bacteria. Organisations should carry out internal daily and weekly monitoring of cooling towers. Once a month, a specialist chemist should check the chemicals within the cooling tower.
Cooling towers should be physically cleaned at least twice a year. Depending on conditions, more frequent cleaning may be required.
We can share with you the HSE guidance on monitoring and testing cooling towers.
What happens if there is a problem with the test results of a cooling tower?
If the results of the cooling tower test alerts you to any issues, chemical treatments will minimise the risk of legionella bacteria spreading. At Dakro, we can carry out one-off maintenance of cooling towers, or set up regular testing which we can follow up with any necessary actions.
We offer a reliable ongoing monitoring and testing service to ensure any problems with your cooling towers are spotted quickly, and dealt with efficiently.