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Legionella patients have recovered, local cooling towers cleared

Testing for legionella bacteria

Testing for legionella bacteria: local cooling towers have been cleared over recent cases.

Inspections of registered cooling towers in Campbelltown and Macquarie Fields have ruled them out as the source of a Legionnaire’s disease outbreak in April.

And Dr Naru Pal, the Director of the Public Health Unit at South Western Sydney Local Health District said this week that three South West Sydney patients, two males and one female, who were treated for Legionnaire’s disease in April, have now recovered.

“The NSW Public Health Regulation 2012 requires each local council to maintain a register of the cooling water systems in their jurisdiction,’’ Dr Naru Pal said.

“NSW Health recently strengthened the regulation so that building owners, from January 1, 2018, are required to test for Legionnaires’ bacteria on a monthly basis and report high results of bacteria to local councils,’’ he said.

A report to Campbelltown Council last week said that on April 12 council received a notice from NSW Health advising of two local cases of legionella, with one of the persons living in Macquarie Fields and both having visited places within Macquarie Fields and Campbelltown.

Subsequently, council environmental health officers conducted inspections of registered cooling towers in Campbelltown and Macquarie Fields.

On the request of NSW Health, water samples were taken for testing from the following sites:

  • Glenquarie Town Centre
  • James Meehan High School
  • Macquarie Links Golf Course
  • 138-154 Queen Street Campbelltown – Gateway Building
  • Campbelltown Court House
  • Campbelltown Police Station
  • 8 Farrow Road Campbelltown
  • 1 Bolger Street, Campbelltown

“The water sample test results returned clear of legionella for all cooling towers except for the Gateway Building, Campbelltown which had a high count of legionella bacteria and was deemed high risk.

“A prohibition order was served on the building owners requiring the system to be shut down and to be cleaned and disinfected,’’ the report said.

“Water samples were taken three days after the system had been cleaned on April 20 and again seven days later on in accordance with the regulation.

“The results were found to be complying within the prescribed levels and the premises can now continue to maintain their monthly legionella monitoring and maintenance treatment program.

“A certificate of compliance was then issued confirming continued use of the system.

“NSW Health have advised Council that the Gateway Building was not a premise of concern relating to the legionella cases,’’ the report said.


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