Protecting Public Health
A public swimming pool or spa pool is one to which the public is admitted either free of charge or for a fee.
Parkes Shire Council has embarked on a program of inspecting public swimming and public spa pools in the Parkes Shire Council region in accordance with the requirements of the Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 which regulates the public health risk associated with these facilities.
Public swimming pools and public spa pools can become contaminated with disease causing organisms, which may be introduced into the water from bathers or environmental conditions. These disease-causing organisms can be effectively killed off when appropriate disinfection measures of pool water are taking place.
What is a public swimming pool?
A public swimming 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 those swimming pools and spa pools:
- to which the public is admitted as membership of a club
- provided at a workplace for the use of employees
- provided at a hotel, motel or guest house or at holiday units, or a similar facility, for the use of guests, and
- provided at a school or hospital
A public swimming pool does not include a pool situated on private residential premises, unless it is operated for commercial gain (eg. swim schools).
Responsibilities of the operator
The key requirements under the new Act and Regulation for an occupier of premises at which a public swimming pool and/or spa pool is located are that the occupier will be required to:
- Notify the local council of their existence.
- Ensure that the primary disinfectant is either chlorine or bromine.
- Ensure that the public pool is fitted with either an automated or a continuous metered disinfectant dosing system.
- Ensure that the public pool complies with the specified levels of bromine and chlorine, pH and alkalinity, and meets testing and record keeping requirements. These requirements are set out in detail in Schedule 1 of the Regulation.
- Ensure that they comply with all aspects of the Act and Regulation that relate to public swimming pools and spa pools.
Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Register
Owners or operators of public swimming pools or spa pools are required to be register the pools or spas on Council's Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Register. This can be done by downloading and completing the Notification of Public Swimming Pool or Spa Form and submitting it to Council with the appropriate fee.
Council's environmental health officers may carry out Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Monitoring to check compliance with record keeping requirements and carry out water testing. The testing involves the on-site monitoring of various water quality parameters such as pH, alkalinity, free and total chlorine along with the collection and analysis of microbiological water samples to ensure compliance with the Public Health legislation.