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  • Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Advisory Document

  • Public swimming pool and spa pool advisory document

    This work is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for study

    or training purposes subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the

    source and no commercial usage or sale.

    © Health Protection NSW 2013

    HEALTH PROTECTION NSW

    73 Miller Street

    NORTH SYDNEY NSW 2060

    Tel. (02) 9391 9000

    Fax. (02) 9391 9101

    TTY. (02) 9391 9900

    www.health.nsw.gov.au

    For more information, please contact your local Public Health Unit whose

    contact details can be found at www.health.nsw.gov.au

    This document is intended as a guide and represents a compendium of

    information on disinfection of public swimming pools. Every reasonable effort

    has been made to give reliable data and information. No warranty as to the

    completeness of the information is given. The NSW Ministry of Health and its

    employees disclaim all liability and responsibility for any direct and indirect loss

    or damage which may be suffered through reliance on any information

    contained in or omitted from this document. No person should act solely on

    the basis of the information contained in this document, without first taking

    appropriate professional advice about their obligations in specific circumstances.

    Suggested citation: Health Protection NSW. Public swimming pool and

    spa pool advisory document. Sydney: 2013.

    SHPN (EH) 130037

    ISBN 978 1 74187 896 7

    April 2013

  • Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Advisory Document NSW HeAltH PAGe 1

    Acknowledgements

    There were many contributions made in the development of this advisory document. In particular NSW Health

    would like to acknowledge the Swimming Pool Industry Group, and the organisations below who provided

    direction and guidance.

    Aquatic and Recreation Institute

    Collingridge and Associates

    Fulham Engineering Services Pty Ltd

    Pallintest Australia

    ProMinent Fluid Controls Pty Ltd

    Stevenson and Associates Pty Ltd

    Siemens Water Technologies

    Trisley’s Hydraulic Services

    Bellingen Shire Council

    Leichhardt Municipal Council

    Ryde City Council

    Shoalhaven City Council

    Warringah Council

    Poolwerx

    Tim Batt Water Solutions Pty Ltd

    Swimming is an

    important recreational

    activity. Learning to

    swim prevents

    drowning. Swimming

    promotes good

    physical, mental and

    cardiovascular health.

    In properly managed

    pools the benefits of

    swimming far

    outweigh any risk.

    (WHO 2006)

  • PAGe 2 NSW HeAltH Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Advisory Document

    Contents

    Acknowledgments........................................... 4

    Quick start for pool operators ....................... 5 A. Chemical criteria ............................................... 5

    B. Chemical testing ............................................... 5

    C. Microbiological criteria ...................................... 5

    D. Fact sheets ........................................................ 5

    E. Pool occupiers information sheet ....................... 5

    Chapter 1: Introduction ..................................................... 6 1.1 Overview ........................................................... 6

    1.2 Purpose ............................................................. 6

    1.3 Scope and application ....................................... 6

    1.4 Disease risk from swimming pools ..................... 7

    1.5 Legislation ......................................................... 7

    1.6 Australian Pesticides and Veterinary

    Medicines Authority (APVMA) ........................... 8

    1.7 NSW Health website ......................................... 8

    Chapter 2: Microbial health risks and transmission ........ 9 2.1 Overview ........................................................... 9

    2.2 Micro-organisms ............................................... 9

    2.2.1 Viral pathogens ............................................... 9

    2.2.2 Bacterial pathogens ....................................... 10

    2.2.3 Protozoan pathogens .....................................11

    2.2.4 Fungal pathogens ...........................................12

    2.3 Disease transmission theory ..............................13

    2.4 Transmission of micro-organisms

    in swimming pools ...........................................13

    2.5 Conclusions ......................................................13

    Chapter 3: Microbiological criteria and sampling ......... 15 3.1 Overview ..........................................................15

    3.2 Indicator micro-organisms ................................15

    3.3 Microbiological criteria .....................................15

    3.3.1 Heterotrophic plate count (HPC) .................... 16

    3.3.2 Escherichia coli (E. coli) .................................. 16

    3.3.3 Pseudomonas aeruginosa .............................. 16

    3.4 Microbiological sampling ................................. 16

    3.4.1 Sampling technique ....................................... 16

    3.4.2 Timeliness ......................................................17

    3.4.3 Interpretation .................................................17

    3.4.4 Chemical criteria ............................................17

    3.4.5 Database ........................................................17

    3.5 Micro-organism risk factors ............................. 18

    Chapter 4: Disinfection .................................................... 19 4.1 Overview ..........................................................19

    4.2 Disinfectant properties .....................................19

    4.3 Disinfection concepts .......................................19

    4.4 Characteristics of various disinfectants............. 20

    4.4.1 Chlorine-based disinfectants that produce

    hypochlorous acid ......................................... 20

    (i) Free available chlorine (free chlorine) ............. 21

    (ii) The effect of pH on chlorine

    disinfection power ........................................ 21

    (iii) Total chlorine, free chlorine and combined

    chlorine ......................................................... 22

    (iv) Bather pollution and the formation of

    chloramines ................................................... 22

    (v) Reducing chloramines ................................... 23

    (vi) Stabilised chlorine – cyanurate

    products and cyanuric acid ............................ 23

    (vii) Electrolytic generation of

    hypochlorous acid ......................................... 24

    4.4.2 Bromine-based disinfectants ......................... 24

    (i) The hydrolysis of bromine to form hypobromous

    acid ............................................................... 25

    (ii) The formation of bromamines ....................... 25

    (iii) The effect of pH on bromine

    disinfection power ........................................ 25

    (iv) Isocyanuric acid and bromine ........................ 26

    (v) Breakpoint bromination and

    super-bromination ......................................... 26

    4.4.3 Chlorine dioxide ............................................ 26

    4.5 Other disinfection systems ............................... 26

    4.6 Disinfection by-products (DPBs) ....................... 27

  • Public Swimming Pool and Spa Pool Advisory Document NSW HeAltH PAGe 3

    Chapter 5: Disinfection chemical criteria, other chemicals, sampling and monitoring ........... 28 5.1 Overview ......................................................... 28

    5.2 Chemical criteria ............................................. 28

    5.2.1 Dosing .......................................................... 28

    5.2.2 Chlorine systems chemical criteria ................. 28

    5.2.3 Bromine systems chemical criteria ................. 28

    5.2.4 Alternate disinfection systems ....................... 30

    5.2.5 Oxidation-reduction potential ....................... 30

    5.2.6 Pool operating periods .................................. 30

    5.3 Other chemicals used in swimming pools ........ 30

    5.3.1 Chemicals for raising pH ................................ 30

    (i) Soda ash (sodium carbonate Na2CO3) .............. 30

    (ii) Bicarb (sodium bicarbonate NaHCO3

    – pH buffer) .................................................. 30

    5.3.2 Chemicals for lowering pH ............................ 31

    (i) Dry acid (sodium bisulphate NaHSO4) .............. 31

    (ii) Hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid HCl) ............. 31

    (iii) Carbon dioxide (CO2) .................................... 31

    5.3.3 Other chemicals ............................................ 31

    (i) Calcium chloride (CaCl2) ................................ 31

    (ii) Potassium monopersulphate (KHSO4) .............. 31

    (iii) Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) ............................. 31

    (iv) Ozone (O3) .................................................... 31

    (v) Sodium th

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