Cooling Tower Risk Assessment

The above brief video clip shows hot steam exhaust near a bottle type cooling tower, that is a problem, heating up the cooling tower risks Legionella growth in the cooling tower and an explosive Legionella outbreak.

EMSD requires an independent auditor to inspect the cooling tower system every year.

#coolingtower #EMSD #coolingtoweraudit #audit #legionella #hongkong @johnherbert

EMSD requires an independent auditor to inspect the cooling tower system every year.

EMSD requires an independent auditor to inspect the cooling tower system every year.

Legionella Outbreak, February 2020, Choi Hung Estate, Hong Kong

Cooling Tower System Management Plan

by John Herbert (@johnherbert)

Hong Kong requires cooling tower systems to be managed by the building owner, but too many building owners still do not have any management system for the cooling tower system as required by the EMSD Code of Practice Part 2, this will get you started:

cooling tower management plan

Cooling Tower Insider

Ever wondered what the inside of cooling tower looks like, here is sneak peek inside a HVACR induced draft type cooling tower

#coolingtower #coolingtoweraudit

EMSD cooing tower audit

No lockdown for Legionella Getting Back to Work

During the lockdown thousands of workplaces, restaurants, offices, factories, and buildings are empty but remember that means the drainage systems may have dried out “U” traps, plumbing systems may have hot water heaters and potable water piping with stagnating water, whirlpool spas may have stagnant water, and building air conditioning cooling towers may contain stagnant condenser water.

Legionella risk assessment

Every risk and possibility cannot be listed here, therefore it is essential that the employer arrange for risk assessment to plan your start up.

Your plan needs to review and prepare an action plan to mitigate risks to ensure that all the systems are cleansed and checked BEFORE restarting, that means managers need advance notice, before for the opening date, to facilitate a safe start up procedure.

Legionnaires Disease Outbreak Hong Kong update 14 Feb 2020

Legionnaires disease outbreak

Update 2 14-2-2020 @ 21:35

CHP reported on 14-2-2020 that 6 out of the eleven (11) cases apparently match the sequence type identified in two of the four MTR Choi Hung station cooling towers, effectively confirming the MTR cooling towers are one source of the Legionella.

CHP also reports two further Legionnaires Disease SP1 cases on 14-02-2020 although attributing these new cases to a new cluster in Kwun Tong district.

  • A male patient, aged 56 with underlying illness, who lives in Choi Hay House, Choi Fook Estate
  • A male patient, aged 62 with underlying illness, who lives in Wang Kwong Building, 33 Ngau Tau Kok Road

These new two cases reside approx 1000m from the first eleven (11) cases, probably part of the same outbreak, a very popular wet market is located over the Choi Hung MTR station.

CHP link

Legionnaires disease outbreak

Updated 14-Feb-2020 @ 2:27 am

MTR Choi Hung Cooling Towers shutdown

One additional Legionnaires Disease case was reported by CHP bringing the total number of confirmed cases to eleven (11) cases, all located the area around the Ping Shek / Choi Hung estate area in Hong Kong [CHP link].

Legionnaires disease outbreak

The 11th patient is an 82-year-old male living in Kam Hon House that is very close to a previously reported case in the adjacent Kam Wan House, Choi Hung Estate.

MTR Cooling Towers Implicated

CHP reports that three (3) out of the four (4) cooling towers at the Choi Hung MTR station had Legionella Pneumophilia count above the action level!

Presumably, 1,000 cfu/ml, however, no data is given in the CHP report, and the Legionella outbreak is not mentioned on the EMSD website, the MTRC website or in local media (checked 1:10 am on 14-2-2020).

In the CHP press release at 23:55 PM on 13-3-2020, CHP recommended closing and disinfecting all the cooling towers today (13-3-2020) due to the high Legionella pneumophilia count in the samples collected before the first disinfection on 4 February 2020. Remember that the first CHP report issued on 1 Feb 2020 confirmed four cases in that area [CHP link].

12 Feb 2020

updated 12-2-2020 7.22 pm

Still no reporting in the media, and also no update from CHP so far.

11 Feb 2012 (first published)

Legionnaires disease outbreak

Whilst the novel coronavirus attracts headlines, Hong Kong has a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in progress, centered around Ping Shek/Choi Hung Estate, Hong Kong.

Legionnaires’ Disease is a serious, pneumonia type illness ( learn more about Legionella )

There are ten confirmed cases so far, all are reported to be living near the Ping Shek/Choi Hung Estate area of the city, and confirmed cases within the last eleven days.

Legionnaires disease outbreak

There are also three other confirmed Legionnaires disease cases, one located in Lee Uk Tsuen, one located in Tung Tau Tsuen, Yuen Long, and one in Deep Water bay Road, which has not been connected to the main cluster so far.

CHP update 11-2-2020 [ link ]

legionella, legionnaires disease outbreak, Choi Hung, cooling towers Kowloon, pneumonia Hong Kong

EMSD Cooling Tower Audit

emsd cooling tower audit, hong kong

In Hong Kong EMSD (www.emsd.gov.hk) requires an independent audit of cooling tower system every year, and still in 2016 it is needed. In the photo above the cooling tower basin is contaminated with dirty, and algae grow has started.

emsd cooling tower audit

Model air conditioning condenser side water schematic  credit: Prevention of Legionnaires’ Disease Code of Practice

The EMSD Code of Practice part 2 is the standard to assess the cooling tower system operation, and the annually conducted audit requires document review of the procedures and a physical inspection of the towers inside and out, then adjudicate compliance.

cooling tower audit hong kong

cooling-tower-hongkong-600w

Cooling Tower FAQ

Q. Who can conduct EMSD cooling tower audit in Hong Kong?
A. Kelcroft conducts independent EMSD cooling tower audit for Government, and private sector organsations.

Q. Is on-site checking of the cooling tower system required?
A. Yes, site inspection of the cooling tower system and operating records is required.

Q. What cooling tower system records will be checked?
A. The cooling tower operation check include the records for maintenance, water treatment, and laboratory results shall be reviewed.

Q. When is EMSD Cooling tower audit required?
A. Annually and after any major renovation work is recommended.

Q. What standard is used for the cooling tower audit?
A. The cooling tower audit standard is the latest version of EMSD Code of Practice for Water Cooled Air Conditioning Systems Part 2: Operation and Maintenance of Cooling Towers [link]

CLICK HERE for information about Kelcroft’s EMSD cooling tower inspection

Kelcroft’s John A. Herbert lectures on Legionella

Our director John A. Herbert conducted a two hour seminar last week titled “Prevention of Legionella in Buildings” raising awareness about the connection of Legionnaires Disease and building stock in Hong Kong. Herbert said “Legionella is prevalent and business should be prepared, if an Legionella outbreak occurred tomorrow many organisations are not prepared”.

Legionella prevention seminar Hong Kong, John A. Herbert, Kelcroft E&M limited

This seminar covered the ecology of Legionella from cradle to infection, citing past cases with cooling towers and other plumbing apparatus. John’s presentation was vividly illustrated with his photographs demonstrating poor design, and unsatisfactory installations he has amassed over the years.