Guidance

The PWTAG Standards

Professionals from other fields are often amazed that there are no official standards or legislation specifically for swimming pools. For over a decade PWTAG campaigned to put this right, but with little support from UK authorities. This is why PWTAG's book, Swimming Pool Water, remains the best help on the subject. (The HSE book, The Management of Health & Safety in Swimming Pools, is an invaluable companion volume, which refers to PWTAG's books for guidance on water treatment.) As an example of PWTAG's influence, the Scottish Health Department sent a letter to all EHO chiefs, recommending they enforce PWTAG guidelines on cryptosoporidiosis (in the light of a glasgow pool outbreak).

PWTAG is also still active in the five areas below, that contribute to official guidance

While drinking water and even coastal waters are subject to regulation in the UK, there is no equivalent specific regulation for the control of swimming pool water quality. To address this issue PWTAG published in Nov 2012 a Code of Practice. The CoP is based substantially on the book Swimming Pool Water: treatment and quality standards for pools and spas (PWTAG 2009), as updated by technical notes available from this website.

The CoP provides a practical summary of the recommendations and guidelines in the book, but also a specific charter to which pool operators can adhere and against which their operation can be evaluated.

Prior to the introduction of the Code of Practice PWTAG in conjunction with the British Standards Institution published in 2004 PAS 39. To give it its full title: Publicly Available Specification PAS39:2003 Management of public swimming pools – Water treatment systems, water treatment plant and heating and ventilation systems – Code of practice. This document is now withdrawn.

The long-awaited WHO guidelines on swimming pools and similar environments were published in June 2006. PWTAG was closely involved in their production: its secretary attended working groups in Michigan, Jersey and Rome; and PWTAG drafted the section on managing water quality. These guidelines are currently being reviewed, and PWTAG once again is involved.

PWTAG members were involved in the drafting of a book published jointly by the Health Protection Agency and Health & Safety Executive. Management of Spa Pools: controlling the risk of infection was published in March 2006. See http://www.hpa.org.uk/publications/2006/spa_pools/default.htm

In a European initiative from the UK Drinking Water Inspectorate, PWTAG has been involved in discussions about Europe-wide CEN standards for pool water chemicals. (The DWI, until 1999, organised an approval system for pool chemicals.) There are British and European Standards for these fourteen chemicals.

Sodium chloride used in electrochlorination
Ozone
Chlorine
Hydrochloric acid
Sodium carbonate
Carbon dioxide
Sodium hypochlorite
Sodium hydrogen carbonate
Sulphuirc acid
Alum-based coagulants
Sodium hydroxide
Sodium dichloroisocyanurate
Iron based coagulants
Calcium hypochlorite
Sodium Peroxodisulfate

PWTAG is also involved in the development of standards on various aspects of pool equipment, the design management and operation of swimming pools, the design and operation of waterslides, the design and operation of waterplay equipment, the design and operation of domestic swimming pools and the design of floating leisure articles. Further details on these is given on the link below and these standards are available from BSI.

Part 1: General safety requirements and test methods

Part 2: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for ladders, stepladders and handle bends

Part 3: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for inlets and outlets and water/air based water leisure features

Part 4: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for starting platforms

Part 5: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for lane lines

Part 6: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for turning boards

Part 7: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for water polo goals

Part 10: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for diving platforms, diving springboards and associated equipment

Part 11: Additional specific safety requirements and test methods for moveable pool floors and moveable bulkheads

Part 1 The safe design of swimming pools

Part 2 The safe operation of swimming pools

Part 1 Safety requirements and test methods

Part 2 Instructions

Water play equipment and features – safety requirements, test methods and operational requirements – is currently under development

There are six published standards under the auspices of TC402. (There are other TC402 standards under development, including Hot tubs and Inflatable play pools.) These are the published standards.

BS EN 16582-1 Domestic swimming pools
Part 1 General requirements including safety and test methods

BS EN 16713-1 Domestic swimming pools: Water systems.
Part 1 Filtration systems. Requirements and test methods

BS EN 16713-2 Domestic swimming pools: Water systems
Part 2. Circulation systems. Requirements and test methods

BS EN 16713-3 Domestic swimming pools: Water systems.
Part 3 Treatment. Requirements

BS EN 16582-2. Domestic swimming pools
Part 2 Specific requirements including safety and test methods for in-ground pools

BS EN 16582-3. Domestic swimming pools
Part 3 Specific requirements including safety and test methods for above-ground pools

There are seven published standards under the series BS EN 15649 1-7 for a range of floating leisure articles

According to the CEN/CENELEC internal regulations, the national standards organisations of the following countries are bound to implement these European standards:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Although the political climate remains hostile to regulating new areas, PWTAG continues to lobby and negotiate with interested parties, outside as well as inside government. British and European Standards impacting on swimming pool provision and operation