Vancouver Cooling Tower Operating Permit Requirements

November 26th, 2019

What is it?

 A new City of Vancouver By-Law requires all existing and new cooling towers, fluid coolers and evaporative condensers to be registered with the City as part of an operating permit process.

Section 14 - Subsection 2.8.2. - COOLING TOWERS:

An operating permit shall be obtained for the installation of a cooling tower, or the retention of an existing cooling tower

Why does the City require Cooling Towers to have an operating permit?

 Vancouver City Council approved unanimously a mandatory registry for cooling towers and decorative water features to take effect in 2020 ( This first step will provide health authorities and City officials with a geographic registry of cooling towers and decorative features together with current contact information, accelerating response times in the midst of a legionella outbreak.

While a registry is a critical tool in response to an outbreak, it does not serve to prevent an outbreak. The second step is to enhance prevention which is currently the responsibility of the building owners.

Specifically, effective on January 1, 2021:  For new and existing cooling towers and decorative water features, requiring testing for and reporting of Legionella pneumophila as validation of maintenance practices and for surveillance, with prescribed notification and actions to exceedances of defined “action levels”.

When does the By-Law take effect?

 Section 14 - Cooling Tower registration and operating permit comes into force and takes effect on January 1st, 2020.

How do I apply for my operating permit and what is the cost?

At this time there is no cost to register your cooling tower.  Contact your local PACE representative to arrange registration of your cooling tower operating permit. 

 PACE provides a full range of Legionella building water management plans and services, including CDC Elite Certified laboratory testing, cooling tower cleaning and sanitization services. 

 Contact us for your free cooling tower survey. 



Back to News Listing