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Swimming Pools and Cooling Towers

Swimming Pools

Our Environmental Health Section inspects local public pools and spas. Public recreational water facilities, such as public pools and spas, pose potential health risks if not properly maintained.  Disease-causing organisms live and multiply in pool water that has not been properly treated and give rise to eye, ear, skin and intestinal infection. Inadequate chemical balance of pool water can also cause skin rashes and conjunctivitis.

Environmental health assessments aim to ensure that public pools and spas are maintained in accordance with the requirements of the SA Public Health Act 2011 and Regulations.

A pool is considered to be open to the public if it is:

  • Available for use by members of the public on payment of an admission or membership fee
  • Available for use by people who live in, work in, or attend the premises where the pool is situated
  • Available for use by people staying at:
    • A hotel, motel or guesthouse
    • A camping or caravan ground
    • Any other similar place where accommodation is provided on a temporary basis

This excludes situations where the pool is used in connection with a single private residence and is only available for the use of residents or their guests and includes schools, and flats or units, with a shared swimming pool.

When inspecting public swimming pools, Environmental Health Officers look at a number of requirements including the following:

  • The pool must be fitted with automatic equipment that continuously analyses and controls the pH levels and the level of disinfectant in the water.
  • The levels of disinfectant (e.g. Chlorine), pH and alkalinity must meet the required standards.
  • The pool must be regularly tested by the operator and a log book of the results must be kept.
  • All equipment (e.g. filters) must be maintained in a clean and efficient condition.
  • The pool must be kept clean, the structure must be sound, and the surroundings (e.g. presence of leaves and algae, broken tiles, rusty ladders, etc.) must be safe.
Cooling Towers / Warm water Systems (High Risk Manufactured Water Systems)

This information is for organisations that own cooling towers or warm water systems

Cooling Towers and Warm Water Systems are a high risk manufactured water systems and must be operated in accordance with the SA Public Health (Legionella) Regulations 2013, Australian and New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS 3666) and Guidelines for the Control of Legionella.

Owners of Cooling Towers and Warm Water Systems are required to register their system within one month of commissioning and registration must be renewed annually. The relevant registration form and current fees are available below:

Owners of cooling towers and warm water systems are issued with an annual Notice from Council requiring that they engage in a competent third party auditor to inspect the system and undertake microbiological testing.

When Legionella is detected at specified concentrations (see below) in a water sample collected from a cooling water system or warm water system, the owner of the system must immediately shut down the system or decontaminate in accordance with a prescribed procedure/ alternative decontamination procedure approved by the Minister. The owner must also notify Council by completing the relevant sections of the Notification of Legionella Detection(223 kb) and return to Council within 24hrs:

Specified concentrations:

  • at or greater than 10cfu/ml in a warm water system
  • at or greater than 1000cfu/ml in a cooling water system

 Further Information

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