Public aquatic facilities are regulated under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (the Act) and the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 (the Regulations).
The regulations outlines the following:
- Registration requirements;
- General duties of aquatic facility operators;
- The minimum water quality requirements for aquatic facilities;
- Response procedures for non-compliant water quality; and
- Requirements for aquatic facilities suspected or implicated as a source of infection and record-keeping.
Changes to Victoria’s Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 (the Regulations) came into effect as of 14 December 2019. These changes now require Category 1 Aquatic Facilities to register with their local council as of 14 December 2020.
These changes recognise the risk that aquatic facilities pose to the health of the public if they are not managed properly.
Who Needs to Register?
There are two categories of aquatic facilities. Depending on the type of facility you manage, you have different requirements according to the regulations.
Category 1 Aquatic Facility
From 14 December 2020, all Category 1 Aquatic Facilities must REGISTER with Council.
A Category 1 Aquatic Facility is defined under the Regulations as any swimming pool, spa pool or interactive water feature that:
- is used by members of the public, whether free of charge or on payment of a fee; or
- is used in association with a class or program that is offered free of charge or on payment of a fee; or
- is located at the premises of an early childhood service, school or other educational institution; or
- is located at premises at which residential aged care services are provided; or
- is located at any of the following premises:
- a public hospital;
- a multi-purpose service1;
- a denominational hospital;
- a private hospital;
- a privately-operated hospital within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Health Services Act 1988
1The functions of a multi-purpose service are the provision of any or a combination of the following – (a) public hospital services; (b) health services; (c) aged care services; (d) community care services; and further criteria as defined in the Health Services Act 1998.
A Category 2 Aquatic Facility is defined under the Regulations as a swimming pool or spa pool that is used by members of the public2 and located at the premises of the following:
- residential apartment complex, or
- hotel, motel or hostel
2While the term ‘members of the public’ is not defined in the regulations, the term in the context of a “category 2 aquatic facility” means persons other than the owners and residents of a residential apartment complex, hotel, motel or hostel.
The aquatic facility operator has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the standards and requirements are complied with.
The following types of aquatic facilities are not required to comply with the regulations and the Water Quality Guidelines:
Exempt facility means any of the following:
- a spa pool that is, or is intended to be, emptied of water after each use;
- a floatation tank3;
- a spring water pool that has a turnover rate of at least 25 percent of the entire volume of the water in the pool to waste each hour;
- a waterway within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Water Act 1989;
- a private dam within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Water Act 1989.
3Floatation tank means a heated, highly saline, fluid-filled enclosed tank designed for individual therapeutic use.
How to register your Category 1 aquatic facility
To operate a Category 1 aquatic facility, the proprietor will need to register their details with the relevant local Council by completing and submitting the online application form below.
Registration of Category 1 aquatic facility
Fees apply to the registration of Category 1 aquatic facilities (refer to Fees and Charges).
Registration is valid for 12 months and must be renewed by November each calendar year.
Transfer of an existing Category 1 aquatic facility
It is your responsibility to transfer the registration of an existing aquatic facility into your name.
Please contact Mildura Rural City Council regarding the transfer of registration. A registration fee is applicable.
Water quality risk management plan
Both Category 1 and Category 2 aquatic facilities must have a Water Quality Risk Management Plan (WQRMP) and comply with the water quality guidelines for public aquatic facilities.
The plan outlines how aquatic facilities will protect public health by managing water quality risks, and provides details on how they comply with the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019.
A water quality risk management template and guide for developing a plan is available through the Department Health and Human Services (DHHS). The use of the template is not mandatory and you can create your own template that addresses all the key components set out in the guidelines if you prefer.
For assistance with developing a WQRMP, visit the Department of Health and Human Services water aquatic facilities website.
Council’s Building Registration Requirements for Swimming Pools
The Victorian Government has introduced new requirements to improve swimming pool and spa safety, including barrier safety standards, inspection, maintenance and compliance requirements for property owners.
If you own a pool or spa in the Mildura Rural City Council municipality, please contact Council’s Building Services on 03 5018 8100 to register.