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Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchV)

If chillers are operated incorrectly or maintenance work is neglected, legionella can multiply quickly. This poses a serious health threat. Since 2017, the 42nd ordinance on implementation of the Federal Immission Control Act has set binding rules for the prevention of legionella and microorganisms. We assist you with our comprehensive refrigeration technology service!

With our service, you benefit from

annual maintenance
for a perfectly hygienic machine state
a maintenance log
for continuous documentation and overview
expert advisors
who will answer all your questions with expert knowledge
concentrated knowledge from a single source
when it comes to refrigeration technology and energy efficiency
through guaranteed compliance with all relevant regulations

‘Legionella and other microorganisms aren’t actually a problem at all with the right technology. The ordinance on evaporation cooling systems, cooling towers and wet separators is the government’s response to the risks posed by increased concentrations of legionella and microorganisms; it is designed to prevent the risks to the population’s health posed by improperly operated systems.’

Manfred Hofmann, head of the dka at ENGIE Refrigeration

What you need to know about the Federal Immission Control Act (BImSchV)

Since 2017, the 42nd ordinance of the BImSchV has prescribed rules governing the operation of and technology for evaporation cooling systems and wet separators. It is designed to prevent the spread of legionella and microorganisms, as well as the resulting legionnaires’ disease – a serious type of pneumonia

What are legionella?

Legionella are rod-shaped bacteria that occur in natural bodies of water and soils. At water temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius or higher, they multiply exponentially. The Robert Koch Institute estimates that between 6,000 and 10,000 people become sick in Germany every year due to the bacterium. If left untreated, the resulting diseases can in the worst case result in death.

What are your duties as an operating company?

  • You have a duty of disclosure. This means that you must inform the relevant authorities within a month of any new systems, changes, shutdowns or changes in operating company.
  • The BImSchV specifies that a rapid water test (by means of dip slides) must be performed at the latest every 14 days in order to determine the amount of legionella.
  • And every three months, you have to perform a lab test.
  • Systems must also pass inspection by a publicly appointed expert or accredited type A inspection bodies every five years.


What happens if the limits are exceeded?

If an inspection detects that limits have been exceeded, the process water must first be submitted for an additional lab test. In addition, the causes must be determined and any necessary countermeasures must be taken; they vary according to type, and by how much the limit has been exceeded. If, for example, the reference value is 100 times higher than the defined reference values, immediate action must be taken to reduce the microbial load according to the 42nd BImSchV § 5.

How can you prevent legionella?

First: you are not on your own when fighting legionella and implementing the Federal Immission Control Act ordinance. We at ENGIE Refrigeration assist you in various ways:

  • All our systems met the requirements even before the 42nd BImSchV took effect.
  • When putting the systems into service, we provide comprehensive training for the future operating companies.
  • We perform annual maintenance for you.
  • Your employees have the opportunity to attend courses at our ‘dka – the refrigeration academy’ LINK and learn everything they need to know about the topic from our experienced experts.
  • As well as annual maintenance, we maintain a precise maintenance log for you and assist you during the inspection by the publicly appointed expert.


With us as the partner by your side, you are prepared for all eventualities and ready for hygienic and efficient operation

Would you like to learn more about BImSchV, or do you have questions?