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Under the Swimming Pool Regulations of the Public & Environmental Health Act, 1987 Environmental Health Officers have the responsibility and authority to inspect 'public' swimming pools, spa pools and water slides.
A pool is considered to be available for public use' if it is:
- available for use by members of the public on payment of an admission or membership fee
- available for use by persons staying at
- a hotel, motel or guesthouse
- a camping or caravan ground
- any other similar place where accommodation is provided on a temporary basis
- available for use by persons who live or work in, or attend, the premises where the pool is situated, other than where the pool is used in connection with a single private residence and is only available for the use of residents or their guests. This includes flats or units with a shared swimming pool and schools.
When inspecting a public swimming pool the Environmental Health Officer will look for a number of things including:
- the pool is fitted with automatic equipment that continuously analyses and controls the level of disinfectant in the water, and the pH level of the water to the required standards
- the levels of disinfectant (e.g.: Chlorine), pH and alkalinity are to the required standards
- a log book is kept of results of tests or readings carried out
- all equipment (e.g.: filters) are maintained in clean and efficient condition
- the condition of the pool cleanliness, structure and surroundings (e.g.: presence of leaves & algae, broken tiles, rusty ladders, etc)
Pool Inspection Process
The Inspector follows specific steps when inspecting the swimming pool. On arrival at the swimming pool property, the inspector looks around the general area to get an overview of the site and to observe any potential safety hazards.
The pool water is tested for free chlorine and pH. Free chlorine is the chlorine available to disinfect the water. pH is a measure of the acidity of the water. Below are the levels that the chemicals should be maintained.
|Type of Pool
||Range of Free Chlorine
||Range of pH
|Swimming or Wading Pool
||1.0 to 3.0 part per million
|Spa (Hot Tub)
||2.0 to 5.0 parts per million
If there is a spa (hot tub) at the property, the maximum temperature allowed is 104° Fahrenheit. There is no minimum temperature for pools or spas.
After recording the chemical readings on the inspection form, the pumps and filters in the mechanical room are observed. If a flow meter is present on the filter, the flow rate in gallons per minute is recorded on the report. A flow meter is required on new construction or modifications of existing equipment. There are specific flow rates needed to turn over the water of the pool within the required period. Check the local code or law.
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