Public swimming pools and spas

Pools and spas can be causes of infection in your home and in the community.

young girl swimming young person swimming Butterfly swimmer children playhing in a pool
Legislation Notifications Inspections More information


The Public Health Act 2010 and Public Health Regulation 2012 govern the safe operation of public swimming and spa pools in order to minimize the risk to the public. The following is a selection of materials which will assist in understanding public swimming pool and spa pool issues. This includes pools and spas:

  • Provided at a work place, or
  • Provided at a hotel, motel, guest house, holiday unit, or
  • Provided at a school or hospital.

Swimming pools or spa pools in private residential premises are not public swimming pools or spas.

During the warmer months of October through to March, Council's Environmental Health Officers carry out the Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Monitoring Program. The Program involves the on-site monitoring of various water quality parameters such as pH, alkalinity, cyanuric acid, free and total chlorine along with the collection and analysis of microbiological water samples to ensure compliance with the Public Health Regulation.  The specific chemical requirements of a public pool are listed under Schedule 1 – Requirements for public swimming pools and spa pools (Clause 15).

Notification Form

Owners/Operators of public swimming pools or spa pools in the Clarence Valley Council are required to be registered on Council's Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Register.

Registration can be carried out by completing and submitting to Council the Public Pools Notification Form.

The fees associated with registration and inspections of public swimming pools are listed in Council’s Fees and Charges section.  They are based on the duration of the inspection and administration of inspection results.

Preparing for your Inspection

During your Public Pool inspection, an Environmental Health Officer will ask you about your pool operation and your records of daily manual water testing.

The chemical parameters of the water will be tested using a photometer.  Your swimming pool chemical parameters must comply with the minimum requirements listed in Schedule 1, above.

A water sample will be taken to test for bacteria in the pool.  Bacteria in the pool water indicate that the pool water is not being disinfected sufficiently.  Changes to your swimming pool procedures may be recommended to ensure that the water is sufficiently disinfected prior to allowing swimmers in.  Your swimming pool sample results will be communicated with you once they are received from the lab.

For a comprehensive swimming pool operation resource, read the Public Swimming Pools and Spas Advisory Document.

More Information

The NSW Health Swimming Pool web page contains a variety of resources for public swimming pool operation in New South Wales. 

Clarence Valley Council’s Environmental Health Section also provides an annual newsletter to all Public Pools.  The most recent newsletter is available here.

You may contact your Environmental Health Officer on 6643 0200 or by email on for further information.


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