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 Code of Practice 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 Code of Practice 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.
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, entitled. Management of Spa Pools: controlling the risk of infection was published in March 2006.
Recently, PWTAG were also involved in the drafting of a replacement publication for the Management of Spa Pools, entitled HSG 282 – see The control of legionella and other infectious agents in spa-pool systems.
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
- 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
Water play equipment and features – safety requirements, test methods and operational requirements – is currently under development.
This document can be downloaded here.
Control of legionella and other infectious agents in spa-pool systems
HSE’s guide The control of legionella and other infectious agents in spa-pool systems, produced in consultation with Public Health England, and local authority and industry representatives, will help managers and operators assess and control the risk of exposure.
It will also help service suppliers, designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers and installers comply with their legal duties and keep spa-pool systems free of legionella.
As well as advice on operating and maintaining commercial-type systems, the guide provides specific advice on domestic-type spa pools or hot tubs used as part of a business activity, e.g. in holiday-park rental units, hotel bedrooms with a dedicated spa and systems on display or at exhibitions.
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.