What is the definition of a ‘public swimming pool or spa pool’?
Under the Public Health Act 2010, a public swimming pool or spa pool is defined as:
‘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
From 1 April 2018, a public swimming pool or spa pool will also include:
- 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 regulations to be a public swimming pool or spa pool.'
The Act defines a spa pool as including any structure (other than a swimming pool) that:
- holds more than 680 litres of water, and
- is used or intended to be used for human bathing, and
- has facilities for injecting jets of water or air into the water.
A swimming pool under the Act includes any structure that is used or intended to be used for human bathing, swimming or diving, and includes a water slide, water-play park or other recreational aquatic structure (including any interactive water feature or fountain that is intended to be bathed in for recreational purposes). This includes recreational aquatic structures, such as interactive water features or fountains, or water play parks.
Who do the requirements of the Public Health Act apply to?
The requirements of the Act apply to the following types of premises:
- gyms/health clubs
- hotels/motels/accommodation providers
- work places
- commercial back yard learn to swim pools
What changed with the Public Health Act review in 2017?
In 2017 the Act was amended to clarify recreational aquatic structures (such as splash parks) and pools on private residences that are used for commercial purposes, such as commercial learn to swim pools, are included within the definition of a swimming pool and spa within the Act. This is important as these facilities pose similar risks to public health as other public swimming pools.
The changes regarding recreational aquatic structures will commence on 1 December 2017.
The changes regarding pools on private residences that are used for commercial purposes, such as commercial learn to swim pools will commence on 1 April 2018.
What are the key requirements for an occupier of premises at which a public swimming pool or spa pool is located?
Under the Act and Regulation, an occupier of premises at which a public swimming pool and/or spa pool is located is required to:
- notify the local council of their existence. Councils may charge a notification fee
- 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 or chlorine, pH, alkalinity, combined chlorine and cyanuric acid
- ensure that the public pool meets the testing and record keeping requirements. These requirements are set out in detail in Schedule 1 of the Public Health Regulation
- ensure that they comply with all aspects of the Act and Regulation that relate to public swimming pools and spa pools.
Where to go for further information
If you will be affected by this amendment to the legislation and you want further information, you can:
If you would like information on training please contact a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), such as the NSW Department of Technical and Further Education (TAFE), for accredited training.