Key messages

  • The purpose of the Water quality guidelines for public aquatic facilities: managing public health risks (the Water quality guidelines) is to assist aquatic facilities to manage water quality risks to public health and to comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 (the regulations).
  • An aquatic facilities inspection checklist is available as a separate file on this page to assist aquatic facilities and regulators to assess compliance with the Act, the regulations and the Water quality guidelines.

The Water quality guidelines were published in December 2020, and reflect the aquatic facilities provisions of the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019.

The Water quality guidelines are incorporated by reference into the regulations under Regulation 46:

46 Duty to minimise risks 

An aquatic facility operator must manage the risks to human health arising from pathogenic micro-organisms in the water in the aquatic facility in accordance with these Regulations and the Water Quality Guidelines.

Therefore, aquatic facilities that are covered by these regulations must follow the Water quality guidelines.

Section 1.3 of the Water quality guidelines states that all public aquatic facilities must have a water quality risk management plan in place to help minimise potential public health risks. Further information on the development of a water quality risk management plan is available on the department’s website.

The Water quality guidelines provide information on the following areas:

  1. Introduction
  2. Public health hazards associated with public aquatic facilities
  3. Victorian regulatory framework
  4. Treatment processes
  5. Bather numbers, water circulation and turnover times
  6. Managing water balance
  7. Monitoring
  8. Healthy swimming
  9. Incident response
  10. Operator training

Operational guidance is provided in the Appendices:

  1. Interactive water features (splash pads, spray parks, water play areas)
  2. Water quality criteria and monitoring frequencies
  3. Troubleshooting guide
  4. Recommended turnover times
  5. Langelier Saturation Index
  6. Incident response
  7. Example monitoring log