Public swimming pools and spa pools are routinely monitored to ensure that the water quality complies with the legislative requirements and that the facilities are properly maintained. There are no legislative controls that deal specifically with water quality in private pools and spas but should these facilities be not properly maintained on private premises, Council's Environmental Health Officers may require the owners to take action under the Public and Environmental Health Act.
Public recreational water facilities such as public pools and spas pose potential health risks if not properly maintained. Disease-causing organisms live and multiply in pool water that has not been properly treated and give rise to eye, ear, skin and intestinal infection. Inadequate chemical balance of pool water can also cause skin rashes and conjunctivitis. Environmental health assessments/testing aim to ensure that public pools and spas are maintained in accordance with the requirements of the Public and Environmental Health Act 1987 and the Department of Health Codes of Practices for the operation of swimming pools and spa pools in South Australia.
A pool is considered to be open to the public if it is:
-Available for use by members of the public on payment of an admission or membership fee
-Available for use by people staying at: hotel, motel or guesthouse; a camping or caravan ground or; any other similar place where accommodation is provided on a temporary basis
-Available for use by people who live in, work in, or attend the premises where the pool is situated. This excludes situations where the pool is used in connection with a single private residence and is only available for the use of residents of their guests. This includes schools and flats or units with a shared swimming pool.
When inspecting public swimming pools, a variety of requirements are assessed. The following are examples:
-The pool must be fitted with automatic equipment that continuously analyses and controls the pH levels and the level of disinfectant in the water
-The levels of disinfectant (eg Chlorine), pH and alkalinity must meet the required standards
-The pool must be regularly tested by the operator and a log book of the results must be kept
-All equipment must be maintained in a clean and efficient condition
-The pool must be kept clean, the structure must be sound, and the surroundings must be safe