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Public Pools & Spas

All swimming pools and spas in the City used by the public are routinely inspected by Environmental Health Officers to check for compliance with the South Australian Public Health (General) Regulations 2013 and associated standards:

To assist Local Government Councils and pool operators, the Department of Health has published two codes:

» Standard for the Operation of Swimming Pools and Spa Pools in SA
» Guideline for the Inspection and Maintenance of Swimming Pools and Spa Pools

These codes have been prepared to assist operators of public swimming pools or spa pools to ensure that pool management and water quality are maintained at a standard that does not jeopardise the health or well-being of pool users.

An inspection involves an on-site analysis of several water quality parameters, including free chlorine, total chlorine or bromine, total alkalinity, temperature, pH and cyanuric acid (outdoor swimming pools only). Pool maintenance records are also checked during an inspection to ensure that maintenance procedures meet the requirements of the Public and Environmental Health Regulations.

Risks associated with swimming pools and spas

Public swimming pools and spas can be very popular. However, if they are not properly maintained they can be a source of harmful microorganisms that can cause illness to uses. Bathers and the environment can introduce pollutants to pool water, which may lead to the spread of infectious diseases. Poorly maintained chemical levels can also cause problems such as skin rashes and irritated eyes. Managers of public pools are responsible for ensuring that the facilities they are providing are safe and hygienic.

Spa pools can create a greater risk of infection than swimming pools if they are poorly maintained. The warm aerated water provides an ideal environment for the rapid growth of many undesirable microorganisms. Spa pools have large numbers of people entering a small volume of water, therefore the organic and microbial loading may become more concentrated. This can have dramatic and adverse effects on the water quality, potentially placing the health of users at risk.

Fact sheets

» Cryptosporidiosis Fact Sheet
» Faecal Release Response Sheet

Sources:
SA Health web page (2015)
Standard for the Operation of Swimming Pools and Spa Pools in SA

For information regarding private swimming pools and spas, please see Swimming Pools and Spas at Home.

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