Public Swimming and Public Spa Pool Health

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Looking after our pools and spasphoto of a girl diving into the Kiama Leisure Centre pool

Public swimming pools and public spa pools can become contaminated with disease causing organisms, which may be introduced into the water from bathers (from their skin, saliva, urine, or faeces) or environmental conditions (eg dust, bird droppings). These disease-causing organisms can be effectively killed off when appropriate disinfection measures of pool water is taking place.

If swimming pools and spa pools are not adequately disinfected and cleaned they can allow medical conditions to be transmitted, such as:

  • bacteria associated with eye, ear and skin infections; carbuncles and wound infections
  • fungi that lead to athletes foot and tinea; urino-genital, skin and nail infections
  • viruses which can cause gastroenteritis and pharyngo-conjunctival fever
  • protozoa which cause Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiasis.

New legislation

The Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 regulates the public health risk associated with public swimming and public spa pools. 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

but does not include a pool situated on private residential premises.

Under the new Act and Regulation, an occupier of premises at which a public swimming pool and/or public spa pool is located is required to:

  • notify 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 all aspects of the Act and Regulation that relate to public swimming pools and spa pools are complied with.

Resources and fact sheets

The following public health legislation and resources have been prepared to assist public swimming and spa pool owners:

Notification form

Owners/Operators of public swimming pools or spa pools in the Kiama Municipality are required to be registered on our Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Register.  Use this Notification form to notify Council of the existence of a public pool or spa pool.

Enquiries/Complaints

Any enquiries or complaints regarding public swimming pools and/or public spa pools can be made to our Environmental Services Department on (02) 4232 0444 or email: