If you control non-domestic premises you must ensure that you notify the council of any cooling tower or evaporative condenser on the premises - notification is free.
The main purpose of the The Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992 (opens in a new window) is to help in the investigation of Legionnaires' disease. The regulations place a duty on the person in control of non-domestic premises to ensure that no 'notifiable device' is situated on the premises unless the local authority has been notified in writing with details of the 'notifiable device'.
Notifiable devices consist of cooling towers and evaporative condensers, except where they contain water that is not exposed to the air and the water and electricity supply are not connected.
Cooling towers and evaporative condensers have been associated with outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila commonly found in the environment. Such outbreaks give rise to considerable public concern and take up significant enforcing authority resources. It has frequently been found that poor maintenance of such plants and poor compliance with the requirements of the following give rise to the potential conditions in which outbreaks can and do occur.
Problems can arise when the equipment is not properly managed. Optimum temperatures for growth of the bacteria are between 20°C and 45°C. Nutrients such as algae, rust and sludge that build up in the equipment can promote the rapid growth in numbers of these bacteria that can then be spread in small droplets of water and affect anybody, but which principally affects those who are susceptible because of age, illness, immunosuppression, smoking, etc.
The principle purpose for this notification process is to identify where potential sources of risk are located and allow for easier identification, monitoring and inspection by the enforcing authorities.
There are no criteria that prevent anyone who operates a cooling tower or evaporating condenser from registering.
An online application will require you to be registered with Business Link - a quick, easy process that gives you an online account that you can use across different government services.
We aim to acknowledge your application within three working days. If you have applied online we will acknowledge your application via e-mail.
Help is provided about online applications.
Once you have registered with the Council, you must tell us about any change to the notification details that you have provided. Notification must be made within one month of the change occurring. If the equipment ceases to be notifiable, for example if you decommission it, you must notify the council as soon as possible.
There is no charge for submitting a notification.
If your notification is not processed by the local authority within the timescales stated tacit consent applies. This means that you may presume that you have successfully notified the council if you have not heard from us by the end of our target completion period. If we have not contacted you, please get in touch with us. You can do this online if you applied through Business Link or contact the Health & Safety Team.
Please note, however, that tacit consent will only apply for applications that you submit electronically or when your business can show proof of delivery from a post office or recognised courier.
We will process your application as quickly as possible and, in any event, within the following timescales:
Notification of cooling towers and evaporative condensers
30 calendar days
Application to change a cooling tower notification
30 calendar days
If you are unhappy about the way that we have dealt with your notification, the council has a formal mechanism for dealing with such issues. Please contact the Health & Safety Team in the first instance.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint, the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice consumer service will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
Should you need to complain about, for example, noise, pollution, etc. or should one registrar have cause to complain about another - please contact the council's customer contact centre in the first instance.
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