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Cooling towers


Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992

The Regulations require a person who has, to any extent, control of non-domestic premises to ensure that no notifiable device is situated on the premises unless information specified in the Schedule to the Regulations has been notified in writing to the local authority in whose area the premises are situated.

"cooling tower" means a device whose main purpose is to cool water by direct contact between that water and a stream of air;

"evaporative condenser" means a device whose main purpose is to cool a fluid by passing that fluid through a heat exchanger which is itself cooled by contact with water passing through a stream of air;

"heat exchanger" means a device for transferring heat between fluids which are not in direct contact with one another;

A "notifiable device" means a cooling tower or an evaporative condenser except
(a) where it contains no water that is exposed to air; and
(b) where its water supply is not connected; and
(c) where its electrical supply is not connected

Changes to the information required to be notified must be notified within one month after their occurrence. Where a device ceases to be, and is no longer intended to remain, a notifiable device that fact must be notified to the local authority concerned as soon as reasonably practicable after the cessation. This requirement does not apply where the operation of a notifiable device is suspended for the purpose of maintenance or by reason of seasonal shutdown.

The minimum information that must be notified to the local authority is:

  • The address of the premises where the notifiable device is to be situated.
  • The name, address and telephone number of a person who has, to any extent, control of the premises.
  • The number of notifiable devices at the premises.
  • The location on the premises of each notifiable device.

This requirement to register is because, without proper treatment, cooling towers can be the source for the development and dispersion of bacteria, especially Legionella pneumophila the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' Disease.


All premises that have cooling towers and/or evaporative condensers must therefore register with their local council. All changes and alterations should also be notified to the council.

To register please fill in the form provided on the website and follow the instructions.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent applies to these applications. This means you will be able to act as though your application is granted, if you have not heard from the local council by the end 28 calendar days.


While the task of maintaining records of wet cooling systems under the regulations rests with local authorities, responsibility for enforcement in respect of standards of assessment and control is split between the Health and safety Executive (HSE) and local councils, depending on the main activity of the premises.

Operators of installations should be aware the local authority and HSE will make a number of visits to their premises to ensure standards are met and will take enforcement action where appropriate.

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