Swimming Pool and Whirlpool Inspections
A permit is required in order to operate a public or semi-public swimming pool, whirlpool or water fun park. It is valid for one year only and must be renewed annually. Public and semi-public pools are inspected up to three times each year for water quality and public safety and must operate in compliance with the Public Health Act and the Swimming Pool and Waterslide Regulations
In accordance with the Act and regulations, permits are issued for the following:
- Class A pool - swimming pools available to the public, that are not Class B pools, including municipal, community, institutional, athletic club, country club, display pools and portable pools;
- Class B pool - swimming pools, including whirlpools, that are provided as part of a hotel, motel, health club, campground or apartment building, where the use of the pool is restricted exclusively to registered guests, tenants, occupants and their guests; and
- Class C pool - swimming pools associated with or part of a water fun park, including wave pools and water slide flumes.
A permit is not required for pools on private property used solely by the owner, owner’s family and invited guests, without compensation.
How do I get an annual permit to operate a swimming pool?
Submit a completed Application for Swimming Pool Operating Permit
You can also complete the application online: Apply for a Permit to Operate a Public Pool
If this is a first-time application, please include swimming pool and/or whirlpool specifications and construction plans with the application. Please note: You are advised to inquire with your municipality for any related requirements.
There is no fee for this permit.
What are some of the requirements for operating a pool?
The standards and requirements for operating a pool are fully described in Swimming Pool and Waterslide Regulations. The following is a summary only:
- You must state the pool capacity prominently in the immediate area of the pool.
- The pool must be constructed, equipped, maintained, operated and used in a manner that is not dangerous to the health and safety of users or the public including:
- The ability for thorough cleaning of all surfaces
- Proper surface water drainage
- Satisfactory outlet coverings to prevent entrapment
- Appropriate storage for disinfection equipment and materials
- Entrance adjacent to the shallowest end of the pool
- Depths clearly marked at the deepest and shallowest points with maximum depth not exceeding 4.5 metres
- A barrier or guardrail around the entire outer perimeter of an above ground pool platform, except at the entry and exit points
- A spectator gallery must meet regulations for overhang, pool area entrances and exits, and notice of restrictions for spectator access.
- Water added to the pool must meet current Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines for bacteriological and chemical quality.
- The cover of the main drain or a black 15-cm disk shall be visible when located in the deepest part of the pool.
- A wading pool shall meet regulations for children’s safety such as a properly drained walkway and non-slip surface, floor slope and depth allowances and barriers to access deeper water
- Pool operators must maintain operating records that include a schedule of chemicals used, results of water tests, and daily water temperature.
What are some reasons an Environmental Health Officer would close a pool?
There are several reasons to close a pool. Examples include inadequate disinfectant (chlorine or bromine), inability to see to the bottom of the pool, malfunctioning circulation system, and a severe physical safety concern.
An Environmental Health Officer may conduct an inspection anytime and direct an operator to take appropriate remedial action or close the pool
During an inspection, an Environmental Health Officer will test pool water to determine compliance with mandatory conditions of operation which include:
- Quantity of disinfectant in the water
- Range of pH value 7.2-7.8
- Alkalinity value
- Calcium hardness
- Concentration of cyanuric acid
Bacteriological pool water samples may also be collected on occasion.