Key messages

  • Spa baths should be installed according to the Australian Standards (AS3861).
  • Bacteria can survive in spa baths and cause infections.
  • Spa baths should be degreased regularly.

Spa baths circulate water through pipes with a pump and a booster heater. Unlike swimming pools, spas do not have a filter, so any dirt that is not drained out stays in the pipes. Spa baths need to be installed correctly and properly maintained to prevent infections.

Body fats, soap residue and other products (such as aromatherapy oils) can stick inside the pipes and block off the outlets. Bacteria such as Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus can live in the build-up and infect bathers.

Installing a spa

Spa baths should be installed according to the Australian Standards (AS3861) so that water drains from the pump when released. This minimises the amount of stagnant water that can support growth.

Keeping a spa clean

Circulating the water is not usually enough to remove build-up. A degreasing solution can remove fats and debris, depositing them in the bath to be drained away. A degreaser is still required in self-draining spas.

You should choose a degreaser with a sanitising action so the pipes stay clean.

Degrease your spa regularly so that bathers can be assured their spa use will be an enjoyable and hygienic experience. It is recommended you degrease after each spa.