Public pool and spa operators

The Public Health Act 2010 requires councils to regulate public swimming pools and spa pools to ensure they do not pose a risk to public health.  


Public swimming pools and spas

Step 1.Is your pool or spa considered ‘public’?

Public swimming pools and spas are defined by The Public Health Act 2010 as pools where the public are admitted, whether free of charge, on payment of a fee or otherwise. These include pools located at:

  • clubs
  • workplaces
  • hotels
  • guest houses
  • resorts, holiday units, or similar facility for the use of guests
  • schools
  • hospitals

It does not include pools situated at private residential premises (unless the pool is used by members of the public, such as learn-to-swim pools.)

Step 2.Notify us of your business

All operators of public swimming pools and spa pools are required to notify City of Coffs Harbour of the pool or spa. This form must also be submitted to us within 7 days of any changes to the particulars (e.g. pool owners, pool manager etc.).

You can do this by submitting the online form below. There are no notification fees.

Notification of Public Pools and Spas

Step 3.Understand your public health obligations

All operators of public pools must ensure the water quality requirements set out in Schedule 1 Public Health Regulations are being met. This is critical to ensure patrons swimming in your pool are kept safe from diseases which can be transmitted through poorly disinfected pools. 

The fact sheet below provides a useful summary of the water quality requirements.

Pool Water Testing Help Sheet – Water Quality(PDF, 412KB)

Step 4.Test water and record results

All public pools and spas must be tested and the results recorded at least once a day when the pool is operating.

The type of testing required varies for different types of pools.

The fact sheet below provides a useful summary of pool water testing requirements.

Pool Water Testing Help Sheet – Water Testing(PDF, 511KB)

Please ensure all records are available on site, and are kept for at least 6 months.

Testing equipment

All operators must have a suitable pool testing kit on site and the appropriate knowledge to be able to use it.

While many pool shops can test water and assist with information on water balance, it is not suitable to take a sample to them every day instead of undertaking your own daily sampling.

Council recognises photometers as a suitable type of pool testing kit. These are electronic test kits which use light and chemical reagents to test water quality parameters. Colorimetric (colour based) dropper kits and test strips are not acceptable because they are not considered accurate enough for testing public pools.

Template log sheets

Operators can use these templates to record water testing results. 

Continuous Metered Pool(DOCX, 16KB)

Automatic Disinfectant Dosing System(DOCX, 17KB)

For more information contact our Environmental Health Officers on 02) 6648 4000

Step 5.Environmental Health Officer inspections

Public pools are routinely inspected by our Environmental Health Officers.

During the inspection, our Officers will test the water, review sampling records, and assess the skills and knowledge of pool operators.

Pools are inspected every 6 months, 12 months or 18 months.

The frequency of inspections is based on a risk framework that considers the type of premises, how much the pool gets used, confidence in the pool operator and compliance history for the pool.

Fees are charged for these inspections, see our fees and charges.