Vital Guide Is Free For Public Pool Operators

The PWTAG Code of Practice is an essential tool for everyone involved in public pools.
The PWTAG Code of Practice is an essential tool for everyone involved in public pools.

A vital and essential tool for commercial pool operators, The Code of Practice from the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG), covers swimming pool management and the need to establish and maintain pools and is available free of charge, writes Allen Wilson. Although it does not cover spas, the Code of Practice provides an indispensable, practical summary of the recommendations and guidelines as detailed in the full PWTAG publication, Swimming Pool Water treatment and quality standards for pools and spas. Various organisations, including the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers, contributed to the Code of Practice, which is designed to be a specific charter to which operators can adhere and against which their pool operation can be evaluated.

PWTAG intend to review the Code of Practice at intervals not exceeding two years; any further amendments arising from these reviews will be published in an amended Code of Practice and updated on the PWTAG website. The idea of the Code of Practice is to provide pool managers and operators with the basic principles of good practice in swimming pool operation. It covers public health issues and good design and engineering through to operational management and training. It focuses on good practice and provides firm guidelines for public pools; these guidelines can and should apply to other types of pools, including those who do not aspire to adopt all of this Code of Practice. It does not cover hydrotherapy pools in hospitals, spa pools, natural (green) bathing pools, interactive water features, paddling pools nor domestic pools.

What it does cover, as defined in BSEN standards, is:

Swimming pool type 1 – pools where the water-related activities are the main business (eg communal pools, leisure pools, water parks, aqua parks) and whose use is public.

Swimming pool type 2 – pools which are an additional service to the main business (eg school, hotel, camping, club, therapeutic) and whose use is public.


The Code of Practice covers water treatment and the importance of a balance between public health demands and consumer acceptability in pool waters. Disinfection cannot be compromised, but can be aimed towards minimising both disinfectant levels and the formation of unwanted substances, including disinfection by- products. Dilution is an important factor in this process. Other vital areas that are included in the Code of Practice include:

• monitoring water quality
• microbiological testing
• emergency procedures
• pre-swim hygiene
• venue hygiene
• filtration compliance
• good plant room procedures
• heating and air conditioning
• application and use of chemicals
• water circulation and monitoring

 The Code of Practice is available, free of charge, on PWTAG’s website –