Woman sitting by a hotel swimming pool

A public swimming pool or spa is a swimming pool or spa to which the public is admitted whether free of charge or fee on entry. This includes swimming pools and spas located at guest accommodation, schools, hospitals, clubs, workplaces and splash parks.

Public swimming pool or public spa operation requirements

The requirements for public swimming pools and spas can be found under Schedule 1 of the Public Health Regulation 2012, they include:

Notifying Council of public pool or spa:

Download and complete the below notification form NSW Health Notification Form

Email the completed form to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop it off at the Council Administration Centre during business hours.

There is no fee for notification in the Muswellbrook local government area.

Conducting daily testing and record keeping

NSW Health have a sample log sheet that may assist you.

Swimming Pool Log Sheet

Adhering to the prescribed disinfectant levels and adequate water quality parameters

As specified in Table 5.1 and Table 5.2 of the Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Advisory Document

Swimming Pool and Spa Advisory Document

 

Chemical criteria for swimming pools and spas

Chemical criteria for chlorine-based pools

ParameterSituationConcentration
Free Available Chlorine (1)(DPD No 1) Outdoor Pool Min 1.0 mg/L
Outdoor Pool + Cyanuric Acid Min 3.0 mg/L
Indoor Pool Min 2.0 mg/L
Spa Pool Min 2.0 mg/L
Any pool where pH > 7.6 Raise min by 1.0 mg/L
Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP)(4) ORP automation Min 720 mV
Combined Chlorine (3) Any pool Max 1.0 mg/L
Total Chlorine
(DPD No 1 + No 3)
Any pool Max 10.0 mg/L
pH Any pool Range 7.0 to 7.8
Total Alkalinity Any pool 80 to 200 mg/L
Cyanuric Acid Outdoor pool only. Not spas Max 50 mg/L
Ozone (2) Any pool Zero

(1) Free Available Chlorine concentration should be increased when high bather loads are anticipated to ensure that concentrations are never less than the minimum. Super-chlorination should only be carried out when the pool is closed.

(2) Residual excess ozone is to be quenched in an activated carbon filter bed before the circulated water is returned to the pool. The contact time between the pool water and the ozone should be at least 2 minutes at an ozone concentration of 1 mg/L where injected before filtration, and at least 0.8 mg/L where injected after filtration. Where ozone is generated at the rate of less than 2mg/hour quenching should not be required where the ozone is introduced into the circulation system by a venturi and completely dissolved in the pool water.

(3) Some oxidants may interfere with reagents used to measure combined chlorine. Interference must be demonstrated by the pool operator to allow exemption from the combined chlorine maximum.

(4) Where Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP) measuring equipment or automatic dosing equipment is installed, the ORP should be set to the equivalence of the minimum free chlorine concentration and shall be not less than 720mV.

Chemical criteria for bromine-based pools

ParameterSituationConcentration
Bromine (1)
(DPD No 1)
Outdoor Pool Min 2.25 mg/L
Indoor Pool Min 4.5 mg/L
Spa Pool Min 4.5 mg/L
Bromine Any Pool Max 9.0 mg/L
pH Any Pool 7.0 to 8.0
Sodium Bromide (NaBr) Bromine Bank System Max 9.0 mg/L
Sodium Bromide (NaBr) Ozone (2) / Br System Max 15 mg/L
Total Alkalinity Any Pool 80 to 200 mg/L
Di-methylhydantoin Any Pool Max 200 mg/L
Cyanuric Acid Any Pool None – no benefit
ORP (3) Any Pool 700 mV

(1) Bromine concentration should be increased when high bather loads are anticipated to ensure that values are never less than the minimum. Super-chlorination should only be carried out when the pool is closed.

(2) Ozone quenching is not required in the Ozone / Bromide system. In other systems residual excess ozone is to be quenched in an activated carbon filter bed before the circulated water is returned to the pool. The contact time between the pool water and the ozone should be at least 2 minutes at an ozone concentration of 1 mg/L where injected before filtration, and at least 0.8 mg/L where injected after filtration. Where ozone is generated at the rate of less than 2mg/hour quenching should not be required where the ozone is introduced into the circulation system by a venturi and completely dissolved in the pool water.

 

Council inspections of public swimming pools and spas

Authorised Officers conduct routine inspections on public swimming pools and spas from November to February each year to coincide with peak months of use. Investigative inspections may also be conducted outside of peak periods where required. All requirements listed in Schedule 1 of the Public Health Regulation 2012 are assessed by an Authorised Officer at time of inspection.

The purpose of the inspection is to ensure that all pools and spas used by the public comply with legislative requirements under the Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 and do not cause a risk to public health.

Where non-compliance is found, appropriate enforcement action can be issued under the Public Health Act 2010. The degree of the enforcement depends on the severity of the non-compliance.

An inspection fee as prescribed by Council’s adopted Fees and Charges Revenue Policy is applicable for each inspection undertaken. Additional sampling fees may also be incurred.

 

More information

For further information please visit:

NSW Health Swimming Pool and Spa Advisory Document

NSW Health Disinfection of public swimming pools and spa pools fact sheet

NSW Health Public Pools web page

Alternatively, you can contact Council’s Planning and Regulations team by calling 6549 3700 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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