Water testing your swimming pool

Having a clean and tidy pool at your facility leads to more bathers, and happy patrons. On the other hand a dirty pool with poor water quality can cause patrons to fall ill; it may also cause blockages in your equipment and poor water circulation. Then there is the visual aspect, no one wants to swim in a filthy pool and this could be a major detriment to your business!

By maintaining your pool water quality you can help prevent the transmission of infectious diseases, allow for patron comfort while swimming, and prevent corrosion of metal pool components.

Water testing requirements are based on your pool's classification (Group 1, 2, 3 or 4) under the Aquatic Code of Practice Dec 2015. If you are unsure which classification your pool fits into you can easily determine this by downloading the chart below.

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Your daily water testing should consist of at least the following four tests: total & free chlorine, pH and total alkalinity, and these tests should be conducted according to the correct schedule for your pool. 

These schedules can be accessed at the link below.

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When completing these tests your chemical ranges should ideally be kept in accordance with the table below.

Minimum Free Chlorine Levels

  Minimum Free Chlorine Levels - milligrams per litre 
  Water temperature less than 26oC  Water temperature greater than 26oC
Unstabilised pools – cyanuric
acid not used. 
 1.0 2.0
Stabilised pools – where
cyanuric acid is used 
 2.0  3.0
  Minimum Free Chlorine Levels – milligrams per litre 
Hydrotherapy Pools, Spa Pools
& Wading Pools

[Section 5.1.1 Free Chlorine Levels - Table 6 – Minimum Free Chlorine Levels amended 21 Sep 2009]

5.1.2 Combined Chlorine Levels

It is recommended that facilities be operated with combined chlorine levels no greater than 30% of the Free Chlorine Levels.

5.1.3 Maximum Chlorine Levels

Total chlorine levels shall be no greater than 8 milligrams per litre whilst a facility is in use.

As an alternative to complying with the requirements in the table above, indoor facilities may comply with the free bromine levels specified below.

Minimum Free Bromine Levels

  Minimum Free Bromine Levels - milligrams per litre 
Type of facility  Water temperature less than 26o Water temperature greater than 26o
Swimming Pools, Wave Pools, Water Slide
Receiving Pools
2.0 4.0
Hydrotherapy Pools, Spa Pools and Wading
4.0  6.0

Facilities using bromine as a sanitiser shall keep the DMH levels no greater than 200 milligrams per litre.

The information in the above tables can be downloaded below.

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You should also conduct a weekly water balance test. Water balancing is important as it will prolong the life of your pool and its fittings, assist in preventing staining, while improving bather comfort.

Unbalanced water can cause etching or eroding of water body surfaces and fittings, or the formation of scale. It also causes fluctuations of chemicals which may hinder effective water disinfection.

There are approved methods of conducting a water balance test and these can be found at the link below.

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