Feedback Sought: Pool Design and Operations

The Ministry of Health is conducting a review is to develop updated standards and/or improvements, which reflect recent innovations and approaches around pool design and operation, while continuing to align with the provisions of the Pool Regulation. The Ministry is requesting comments on their updated, Version 3, draft guidelines for Pool Design and Pool Operations by August 31, 2019.

The previous draft of these guidelines is available on the Ministry of Health website. Comments may be provided to Rupert Benzon in the Health Protection Branch.

Regulatory amendments (changes to the provisions of the Pool Regulation) are out of scope for this initiative.

Key changes that have been incorporated in the updated drafts include:

1.       Guidelines for Pool Design:
  • References to specific building code sections/provisions through out the document have been removed, and replaced with general references to the building code (as the building code has periodic updates  - for example, change room requirements)
  • A section on ‘Above Grade Raised Pool Walls’ has been added to part 2, section 3.2.
  • Extra provisions have been added to part 2, section 3.3 (Flooring).
  • Water Dispensing units may now be used as the drinking water supply for pool facilities (part 2, section 5.2).
  • A new section on ‘Rainwater for Makeup Water’ has been added (part 3, section 7.6).
  • The Maximum Bathing Load (part 3, section 8.7) has been changed to include depths greater than OR EQUAL to 5 feet in the deep end calculation.
  • A section on the use of registered or scheduled products (part 3, section 9.2) has been added.
  • BC Fire code provisions have been removed from part 3, section 9.9 (same rationale as Building Code).
  • Provisions for Climbing Walls have been added (part 4, section 10.2).
2.   Guidelines for Pool Operations:
  • Changes to the language under operating permit (section 1) requirements.
  • Table 1 (part 2, section 2) amended to reflect ‘recommended’ testing frequency vs ‘minimum’ testing frequency.
  • The language around the use of cyanuric acid (part 2, section 5.7) has been changed/updated.
  • Table 4 (summary of water chemistry parameters) has been moved from section 5.11 to section 5.10.2 (total dissolved solids).
  • Part 3, Section 1: Emphasis on course provider’s role in setting course length, materials, and prerequisites required (and removal of Health Authority’s role in review of courses).
  • Additional provisions for the management of movable equipment [and additional movable equipment types (inflatable floating structures, tot docks, etc)] added to part 4, section 1
  • Additional details for wading pools has been added to part 4, section 4.1 (Unsupervised Pools).
  • Lifeguard training to include certification by a recognized body and cover Standard First Aid and CPR as additional components (part 4, section 4.4).
  • A section on Pool Biomonitoring has been added (part 4, section 4.5).
  • Reference to the Health Authority ‘Best Practice Guide for Mitigating Suction Hazards in Pools’ (part 4,section 8).

Please note that the Chlorine Safe Work Practices Guide [hyperlinks to this document provided in section 10 and 11 (pp 24 and 25) of the Guidelines for Pool Operations] is currently undergoing major revisions by WorkSafeBC staff. Upon completion, the revised document will be available at the same link.

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