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Performance Cleaning

Coolclean cooling tower performance clean

With 30 years’ experience in cooling tower cleaning and disinfection, Coolclean is trusted by leading Australian companies to provide a service that reduces Legionella risk, and optimises cooling tower performance.

Cooling towers are water and energy saving devices, which must be maintained correctly. There are two distinct areas of maintenance:

A.  Water Treatment. Chemicals to control bacteria and water conditions. Conducted by water treatment companies.
B.  Cleaning for public safety and performance optimisation. Conducted by Coolclean.

Cooling tower Performance Cleaning reduces Legionella risk

Performance Cleaning of cooling towers should be mandatory in every State in Australia. Quite a few quality water treatment companies and cooling tower service providers are providing performance-based cleaning to their clients, but unfortunately many are not.

Routine cleaning in many States is merely ‘disinfecting and cleaning out the basin’. Whereas Performance Cleaning reduces your Legionella risk, improves performance and possibly saves money at the same time.


The following critical cooling tower components must be cleaned on a regular basis (at least annually, but preferably every six months) to protect the public from Legionella bacteria. As part of our Performance Clean, Coolclean technicians work to a checklist to inspect every component, clean, disinfect and reassemble correctly – including difficult to access areas:

1. Drift eliminators. Drift eliminators help to stop the spread of the Legionella bacteria. ‘NO DRIFT MEANS NO LEGIONELLA’ leaving a cooling tower to infect the public. Drift eliminators MUST be inspected, kept clean and not damaged. Removal to clean is best practice.

2. Water distribution nozzles. Water nozzles and associated pipes/trays MUST be clean and free of debris so that treated cooling tower water can make full contact with all internal components. “YOU CANNOT KILL BACTERIA WITH CHEMICALS, if the chemicals are not in contact with the bacteria,” says Coolclean Managing Director Darren Driscoll. “If the water is not being distributed evenly across the fill pack, the coils, and the casing, then water treatment cannot be fully effective. The bacteria will live and breed where chemicals do not contact.”

3. Fill pack and coils. These are the heat exchange components. To cool effectively, fill pack and coils MUST be kept as clean as possible. It is critical that water runs over the surfaces freely without interference from dirt, scale and bacteria. Dirt in cooling tower fill pack is a breeding ground for bacteria.

4. Air intake louvers. These components stop water splash-out onto surfaces outside the cooling tower. Reducing water splash-out protects the environment. Updating air intake louvers to modern louvers with sunlight block out is a major improvement to assist the water treatment program as sunlight promotes bacteria and algae growth.

5. Other items to be cleaned. Casing, basin, fans and motor drives, hot water boxes, strainers, pumps, ball float valves, chemical dosing lines, the outside casing and the area surrounding a cooling tower.

Does your current cleaning include all of the above items? If you are unsure, the solution is to request photos as evidence that these components have been cleaned.


Performance Cleaning can also save money. Cooling towers that do not have Performance Cleans on a regular basis use excessive amounts of water, chemicals, electrical energy, and may contaminate the environment with excessive discharge called ‘drift’, which is higher than the AS 3666 discharge standards of 0.002%.

Why is it important to clean and optimise cooling towers regularly?

Is the cleaning of your cooling tower effective?


Under Government regulations, cooling towers must be disinfected, cleaned and re-disinfected at least twice per year as a minimum requirement. However, at present there are no industry control requirements in relation to what is actually done during the clean.  

Our observation is that for many companies, their cleaning regime does not take care of critical components such as the cooling tower spray system, fill pack or drift eliminators. To ensure that cooling tower operation is efficient and safe, based on original design, as part of our standard cooling tower clean, Coolclean inspects every component for function, safety, reliability, and corrosion.

See Infographic – Compliance VS Best Practice: Two ways to clean a cooling tower.

During our standard Performance Clean, we check all components that can impact the safety, performance or compliance of the unit.

Coolclean technicians inspect every component, clean, disinfect and reassemble correctly – including difficult to access areas. This includes the application of bio-dispersant and disinfectant, drain and isolate, followed by full pressure clean from top to bottom, with mechanical inspection, and four photos that are proof all access hatches were removed, drift eliminators accessed, removed and cleaned, water distribution cleaned, and top and bottom of fill pack inspected and cleaned. We work to a thorough checklist (as pictured, click image to view).

Could your cooling tower could be under performing? For example, blocked water nozzles (see video)


Comprehensive reports

With an increased focus on risk management, we provide full reports, detailing components and procedures adopted for each cooling tower, together with photos of each stage. This includes our recommendations to rectify any issues that were identified.

Legionella and the role of drift eliminators

Drift eliminators are the most critical component in a cooling tower relating to health and safety. Legionella bacteria in cooling towers is controlled by two critical elements:

1. The water treatment program – the first line of control.Drift eliminators removed 2
2. The function, design and condition of drift eliminators – the second line of control.

What if the water treatment program fails for a few days?

This could be due to:

•  Power loss to the chemical dosing equipment (tripped fuse)
•  Empty chemical drums
•  A broken plumbing line from the dosing equipment to the cooling tower

If the water treatment program fails in any way, drift eliminators are the back-up control measure. They are the last line of defence against Legionella bacteria …. Read more

Maintaining asset value

Although the asset value of a cooling tower might be only 5% of the building, the cooling tower often looks after expensive components such as a compressor, chiller or absorption unit. This equipment relies on the cooling tower working well. If the cooling tower runs one degree hotter, wear and tear is accelerated, corrosion increases, and the risk of Legionella is increased. Just a one degree difference makes a big difference in operation.

While the system is shut down, we will clean, inspect and report on every cooling tower component. This work, during a routine cooling tower clean could save thousands of dollars.

It makes the most sense for any business that depends on a cooling tower to have a reliability-centered maintenance program, as it represents the best cost efficiency and offers the most predictable outcomes.

Coolclean provides a thorough approach, experienced technicians, competitive pricing and peace of mind.

Our Services


Coolclean offers a comprehensive Performance Clean service for all makes and models of cooling towers, condensers, and fluid coolers. Our service includes:

  • Physically pulling apart and checking every component
  • Full disinfection of all parts
  • Routine cooling tower water treatment
  • Removal and clean of drift eliminators

For regular clients, we maintain a register of the condition, make and model of your cooling tower components. This enables us to access spare parts for you quickly.


The Super Clean is ideal for cooling towers that are subjected to frequent or constant use, or may have been neglected. Over time, cooling towers can build deposits of bacteria, dirt, slime, and scale, reducing the efficiency of the system and posing a health hazard to the public. This service includes taking apart, cleaning, and reassembling the entire cooling tower system or an essential part of the system, such as water distribution.

Fill pack replacement service

The Super Clean usually includes the removal and cleaning of the cooling tower fill pack. In cases where the unit is particularly dirty, worn or eroded, our cooling tower fill replacement restores your system to its optimal performance.

Tube cleaning

Tube cleaning is essential for fluid coolers, to enhance the system’s heat rejection capability. This is critical in the paper/pulp industry, and waste water/effluent cooling.

We will work around your schedule in order for cleaning to take place at a time most convenient for you, to avoid shutdowns and lost productivity.


Cooling towers contain large amounts of water and are potential breeding grounds for Legionella bacteria if they are not properly disinfected and maintained. Water within cooling towers is heated, which is an ideal environment for Legionella bacteria to grow. Legionnaires’ disease can be acquired when an individual breathes in water droplets containing the bacteria. 

Legionnaires’ Disease is unquestionably the highest profile danger to human health associated with the mechanical plant of air conditioned buildings.

Due to the acute risks associated with Legionella, the treatment of cooling towers is the most highly regulated aspect of mechanical plant maintenance. Strict procedures are in place to ensure periodic cleaning and testing of cooling tower water.

Too often, a company’s approach to mechanical plant maintenance is reactionary, with remediation work conducted in response only to known problems. It is essential that this approach be replaced by a focus on prevention through a proactive monitoring, maintenance and treatment program – in order to dramatically reduce levels of biological contamination.

Contact us to discuss your requirements.