Public pools and spas
What is a public swimming pool or spa pool?
A public swimming pool or spa pool means a swimming pool or spa pool to which the public is admitted, whether free of charge, on payment of a fee or otherwise, including:
- a pool to which the public is admitted as an entitlement of membership of a club, or
- a pool provided at a workplace for the use of employees, or
- a pool provided at a hotel, motel or guest house or at holiday units, or similar facility, for the use of guests, or
- a pool provided at a school or hospital, or
- a pool situated at private residential premises, but only if that pool is used for commercial purposes, or
- any other pool or spa pool declared by the Public Health Regulation 2012 (the Regulation) to be a public swimming pool or spa pool,
but not including any pool or spa pool declared by the Regulation not to be a public swimming pool or spa pool.
All pools and spas in Eurobodalla Shire which the public has access to must maintain pool and surrounding areas to clean and hygienic standards, in accordance with the requirements of the Public Health Act 2010 (the Act) and Public Health Regulation 2012.
Public pool registration
All public pools and spas in Eurobodalla Shire need to be registered with Council and the NSW Government. Registration is easy - simply complete the following form and return it to Council:
If you complete and lodge the notification form above, registration is free.
This notification requirement is necessary as Council must maintain a register of all public swimming pools and spa pools located in Eurobodalla Shire.
Council's inspection program
Council's Environmental Health Officers are responsible for the inspection of public swimming pools and spa pools in Eurobodalla Shire. The inspections are undertaken annually to determine compliance with legislative requirements and prevent transmission of disease and bacteria.
Due to the potential public health risks from pools and spas, it is necessary for public pool operators to adhere to certain requirements relating to: temperature; disinfection systems; disinfection concentrations; pH level; alkalinity; testing and record keeping. These operating requirements are addressed as part of Council's swimming pool inspection program to ensure compliance with Schedule 1 - Requirements for public swimming pools and spa pools of the Regulation.
Inspection program fees are charged in accordance with Council's fees and charges (refer to 'pool and spa inspections' fees).
Regular pool testing
As swimming is an activity accessible to virtually everyone, public pools are enjoyed by people of all ages in a variety of different settings including hotels, resorts, caravan parks, motels and bed and breakfast accommodation.
Recreational water can be a favourable environment for many different types of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites to thrive, unless the appropriate steps are taken to control their numbers.
All people who use public swimming pools and spa pools are susceptible to infection through cuts, wounds, ingestion and inhalation. Public pools are more likely to be contaminated than domestic swimming pools because more people use them. The physical, chemical and bacteriological properties in swimming pools need to be managed and these change constantly, so public pools and spas must be regularly tested.
According to the Act and Regulation, all public swimming pool operators must undertake:
- microbiological testing
- chemical testing
- record keeping (minimum six months) showing the above.
In relation to the record keeping requirement, a log sheet or register should be used to record the results of every test performed at a swimming pool, spa pool or pool complex, and can be used to demonstrate competency in pool operations. You can download an example of a log sheet below for your records:
The type and frequency of swimming pool testing is explained in detail on the NSW Government Health website:
- Public swimming pool and spa pool advisory document - NSW Government Health
- Public swimming pool and spa pool requirements - a short guide for operators of public swimming pools - NSW Government Health
- Public swimming pools and spa pools - selection of materials, including fact sheets - NSW Government Health.
We can help you
If you need more information about public pools and spas, please contact our Public and Environmental Health Team:
- T: 02 4474 1310
- E: Council's Public and Environmental Health Team