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Cooling Systems Management

Cooling towers and evaporative condensers provide the ideal environment for the growth and dissemination of legionella bacteria. It is therefore essential that robust control measures are implemented to ensure that the risk from these systems are controlled.

In preparing risk assessments and management regimes there is a need to clearly understand how these complex systems operate. Without this understanding, conditions that lead to the growth of legionella bacteria can be over looked and result in an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. The prime example of this is the Barrow-in-Furness outbreak which occurred in August 2002. During this out break over 170 people contracted the disease and 7 people died as a result of the poor management of a cooling system. There have been many outbreaks in the intervening years that have also been caused by inadequate management of cooling systems.

RPS understands all aspects of cooling tower operation, from engineering through to water treatment programmes. Expertise is provided by Consultants who have previously worked in the chemical water treatment industry together with industry recognised qualifications in risk assessment. This provides our clients with the assurance that all aspects of cooling system operation are being managed to the highest possible standards.

Inadequate management and poor lines of communication have been identified as contributory factors in outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. This can be attributed to the number of parties involved in the cooling tower operation, including: Facilities Management, M&E Contractors, Water treatment Contractors and Independent Consultants. As Independent Consultants our approach is to ensure that all parties involved in the operation of a cooling system are consulted at every stage with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for each party. This is supported by the use of our BHI® Interactive Risk Management system to provide a real-time status of cooling system compliance.