Hygiene & Water Quality for Public Pools & Spas

Public swimming pools and spa pools include those located at clubs, workplaces, hotels, motels, holiday units, schools and hospitals where the public can be admitted, whether free of charge, on payment of a fee or otherwise.  The operator of these pools must ensure that the water quality is maintained to prescribed standards to avoid disease causing pathogens.

These types of pools are more likely to be contaminated with a greater diversity of disease causing micro-organisms than a single domestic swimming pool.  This is because public pools are used by unrelated people and are more likely to have higher bather loads.

All public swimming pools and spa pools must be equipped with effective water circulation, filtration, disinfectant, and pH control systems.

Council undertakes regular inspections to ensure operators are checking and maintaining their pool and have the appropriate treatment systems in place. 

Council owned public swimming pools are also required to meet these hygiene standards.  Sophisticated filtration and treatment systems are installed, water quality is checked daily and there are response protocols in place for faecal accidents.  They are also checked by Council’s Environmental Health Officer and/or staff from NSW Health each year.

Pathogenic microbes associated with public swimming pools include:

Bacteria  Infection
 Legionella spp.  Legionellosis 
Pseudomonas aeruginosa  Folliculitis (spas), Swimmer’s Ear (pools) 
Staphylococcus aureus  Skin, wound and ear infections
Adenoviruses Pharyngo-conjunctivitis (Swimming Pool conjunctivitis) 
Trichophyton spp.
Epidermophyton floccosum 
Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) 
Norovirus  Gastroenteritis
Hepatitis A Hepatitis A (gastroenteritis) 
Enterovirus  Gastroenteritis 
E.coli  Gastroenteritis 
Cryptosporidium  Cryptosporidiosis (gastroenteritis) 

If you have a concern about a swimming pool at a public facility, contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on 6033 8999.

To register your public pool with Council, visit NSW Health website, complete the notification form and return to Council.

More information about public swimming pools and spa pools can be obtained on NSW Health website.