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Pools, spas and other recreational water bodies

Managing the quality of ‘recreational’ water bodies falls into two areas:

  • Public aquatic facilities e.g. swimming pools and spas
  • Waterways and beaches

Swimming pools and spas


There are no specific state regulations in Queensland regulating the water quality of pools or spas however under the Public Act 2005 a swimming pool or spa must not pose a public health risk. Local government is responsible for the regulation of swimming pools and spas and can apply local laws to swimming pools and spas within their local government area.

To help pool managers operate their pools safely, Queensland Health published the Swimming and Spa Pool Water Quality and Operational Guidelines (PDF, 856KB) in 2004. These guidelines provide practical advice and water quality standards for pool managers, as well as protocols for dealing with incidents such as faecal releases into a pool or dealing with pool water that has been contaminated with Cryptosporidium.

While these guidelines were written only for public swimming pools and spa pools, many of the ideas within the guidelines can be applied to all types of pools. Germs can be found in any pool, both public and privately operated. Good hygiene and pool management should be used for all pools.

Further pool hygiene resources:

Waterways and beaches

There is no formal regulation of recreational water bodies in Queensland, however the South East Queensland Councils have launched a healthy waterway program to support regionally consistent monitoring, reporting and management of human health risks in recreational waterways. Queensland Health provide expert public health advise for this program.

The Australian government has developed Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water that provide a best-practice, hands-on, practical approach to help those managing recreational water quality. These guidelines form the basis of the health waterways program.

Last updated: 21 April 2015