Key messages

  • Category 1 and category 2 aquatic facilities must comply with the aquatic facilities provisions of the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 and the Water quality guidelines for public aquatic facilities.
  • Category 1 and 2 aquatic facilities must have a water quality risk management plan.
  • Category 1 aquatic facilities must register with their local council by 14 December 2020.

Why regulate category 1 and 2 aquatic facilities?

Public aquatic facilities are important for maintaining and promoting active lifestyles and providing health benefits. However, if aquatic facilities are not properly managed, the health of bathers may be put at risk. Bathers can be affected by disease-causing microorganisms (pathogens) that are passed on through contaminated pool water, contaminated surfaces or person-to-person contact.

This is particularly relevant for vulnerable groups in our community such as young children, the elderly and people with low immunity.

The following types of public aquatic facilities that must comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 (the regulations) and the Water quality guidelines for public aquatic facilities – managing public health risks (the Water Quality Guidelines):

Category 1 aquatic facility:

means a swimming pool, spa pool or interactive water feature that –

  1. is used by members of the public, whether free of charge or on payment of a fee; or
  2. is used in association with a class or program that is offered free of charge or on payment of a fee; or
  3. is located at the premises of an early childhood service, school or other educational institution; or
  4. is located at premises at which residential aged care services are provided; or
  5. is located at any of the following premises:
    1. a public hospital;
    2. a multi-purpose service1;
    3. a denominational hospital;
    4. a private hospital;

1The functions of a multi-purpose service are the provision of any or a combination of the following – (a) public hospital services; (b) health services; (c) aged care services; (d) community care services; and further criteria as defined in the Health Services Act 1998. 

Category 2 aquatic facility

means a swimming pool or spa pool that is used by members of the public2 and located at the premises of the following –

  1. a residential apartment complex;
  2. a hotel, motel or hostel;

2While the term ‘members of the public’ is not defined in the regulations, the term in the context of a “category 2 aquatic facility” means persons other than the owners and residents of a residential apartment complex, hotel, motel or hostel.

The following types of aquatic facilities are not required to comply with the regulations and the Water Quality Guidelines:

Exempt facility

means any of the following –

  1. a spa pool that is, or is intended to be, emptied of water after each use;
  2. a floatation tank3;
  3. a spring water pool that has a turnover rate of at least 25 percent of the entire volume of the water in the pool to waste each hour;
  4. a waterway within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Water Act 1989;

a private dam within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Water Act 1989;

3Floatation tank means a heated, highly saline, fluid-filled enclosed tank designed for individual therapeutic use.