This page was reviewed or revised on Monday, July 05, 2010 3:26 PM
Pool and spa waters are receptive environments in which bathers can be exposed to disease organisms which cause skin infections, eye, ear and throat infections, respiratory infections, and intestinal infections.
Folliculitis, impetigo, athlete's foot, ringworm, legionnaires' disease, cryptosporidiosis and gastroenteritis are all examples of diseases which have been transmitted in pool or spa environments.
The available level of disinfectant in the water is one of the most important features of proper pool or spa water maintenance. Regular monitoring of disinfectant levels is required to ensure that disease organisms are killed.
As well, to be sure that the disinfectant can work to prevent diseases, it is necessary to ensure that water is kept chemically balanced and that proper circulation and filtration of the water occurs. Regular maintenance - chemical testing, cleaning and backwashing of filters etc. - is needed to keep the pool water quality at the highest level.
Concern with cleanliness and sanitation must be given to the entire pool facility. Dirty decks, floors, toilet seats, locker room benches and towels are also potential disease transmitters.
At all public swimming pools and spas, public health inspectors conduct routine inspections to ensure that proper levels of disinfectant are being maintained in the pool or spa water.
As well, public health inspectors make sure that water chemicals are in balance, that all safety equipment is in place, that circulation and filtration equipment is properly maintained, and that the pool facility is safe for bathers.
Public health inspectors have a duty, and the legal authority, to inspect public pools, examine pool records, and to close a public pool when a health hazard exists.