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Swimming Pool & Spa Pool Maintenance

Chemical Storage and Handling

Care must be taken when handling pool and spa chemcials, whether they are gas liquid or solid.

Liquid chlorine, such as Sodium hypochlorite can burn clothing, skin and metals and once opened, it may deteriorate, especially in sunlight.

Solid chlorine, such as calcium hypochlorite may explode if it comes into contact with some other products. If it's fumes combine with cyanuric acid in a moist atmosphere, it may instantaneously combust.


  • Store chemicals in single use, well labelled, air tight containers with the lid on firmly.
  • Avoid exposing chemicals to light, air, moisture or heat.
  • Do not mix different chemcials.
  • Store chemicals away from food preparation area.
  • Clean up any spillages immediately and dispose of them safely.
  • Use clean and dry scoops for the chemicals.
  • Do not store chemicals on top of each other.
  • Never store Calcium hydrochlorite and Cyanurates in the same store room.
  • Keep them as far apart as possible.


  • Use respiratory protection when handling gaseous chlorine.
  • Use gloves, preferably gauntlets, and eye protection when mixing batches of chemicals.
  • Handle away from air draughts or where the chemical can be blown around.
  • Add powders and granules slowly to water while stirring and NEVER add water to chemical.
  • Always follow manufacturers directions strictly.
  • Clean spillages immediately.
  • Ensure that you have a first aid kit and eye wash handy just in case.

Guidelines for Pool Maintenance

Disinfection Concentrations

Concentration mg/L


Free (min)

Combined (max)
Outdoor Pool      1.0           1.0
Outdoor Pool Stabalised                3.0           N/A
Indoor Pool (less than 26oC)      1.5           1.0
Indoor Pool (greater than 26oC)         2.0           1.0
Spa      2.0           1.0
  • Cyanuric acid must not be used for indoor swimming pools, spas or with any other chemical other than chlorine.
  • The cyanuric acid concentration should be kept within the range of 30 to 100mg/L.
  • There should be only free chlorine and no combined chlorine in the pool at the start of each day.
  • The level of free chlorine should at no time be less than half the total chlorine level (total chlorine = free + combined chlorine).
  • Spa pools must be disinfected using a continuous dosing system. Calcium hypochlorite is not recommended as a chlorine source for spa pools.

Concentration mg/L

Bromine          Free (min) Combined (max) 

Outdoor Pool          

     2.25              1.0
Indoor Pool (less than 26oC)           3.5           1.5
Indoor Pool (greater than 26oC)         4.5           2.0
Spa      4.2           2.0
Maximum      9.0           4.0

NOTE: If measurements for bromine are made as a chlorine equivalent, then you multiply the result by 2.25 and you will have the bromine value. Bromine may be purchased as Spabrom or Aquabrom. Bromine is used in a continuous dosing system.


  • A continuous dosing system must be used.
  • It must be generated and dosed in a closed system.
  • Ozone in the treated water must be quenched with an activated carbon filter or similar equivalent prior to the water being returned to the pool.
  • The pool water should be chlorinated as specified above.

Other Standards

Ph         Range 7.2 to 7.8 for Swimming Pools and Spas                     
Total Alkalinity          Range 80 - 200mg/L for Swimming Pools and Spas
Calcium Hardness  The value will vary from place to place.  There is no standard value.  

Clarity Standards

Pool bottom must be visible from the side of the pool.

Filtration turnover rates for pools*

Pool Type               Turnover Period (maximum) 
Spa and Bubble Pools           1/3 hour
Pools less than 0.5m deep  1/2 hour

Pools greater than 0.5m but less than 1.0m deep  

 1 hour
Pools greater than 1.0m but less than 1.5m deep  1 1/2 hour
Pools greater than 1.5m but less than 1.8m deep  2 hours
Pools greater than 1.8m but less than 2.0m deep  2 1/2 hours
Pools greater than 2.0m but less than 3.0m deep  3 1/2 hours
Pools greater than 3.0m deep  5 hour

NOTE: this means that time taken to filter a volume of water equal to that of the swimming pool.

Spa Pool Treatment

Spa pools are more difficult to maintain, and are a higher health risk than swimming pools for the following reasons:

The turbulence tends to remove a large quantity or dirt, skin and debris from peoples bodies.

People will produce more sweat and release more body fluids as a result of the warm temperature.

The warm, turbulent aerated water is an ideal breeding ground for many undesirable germs.

Spa pools generally have a smaller water volume per bather than swimming pools, therefore any bugs or rubbish in the water will be more concentrated.

As peoples bodies are stripped of natural oils by the war water their skin is less protected and therefore more susceptible to infection.


Your spa pool should have its own separate filter and cleaning system. The pump must be capable of circulating the full volume of the spa through the filter at least once every thrity minutes.

Filter the water for at least two hours every day, even if the spa has not been used and always run the filter for at least one hour after people have stopped using it.

Frequent backwashing or flushing of the filter is essential, as the debris will accumulate very quickly.


The amount of chemical required depends on the number of people using it and whether it is located indoors or outdoors. As a guide, indoor spas need to have twice as much free chemical as outdoor swimming pools.

Ensure that the water is balanced, i.e. the pH, total alkalinty and calcium hardness are in the correct levels. In doing this, the pH will fluctuate less and the chemicals will work more effectively.

Continuous dosing with chlorine, bromine or ozone is necessary, as is frequent water quality testing.

When using an ozone system, you must use chlorine or bromine with it.


Encourage the European tradition of washing thoroughly before entering the spa pool. This can be done by instructing the bathers to do this, or by displaying signs in the change rooms. Explain why it is so important. It is important that people working in and around the pool also maintain a high standard of health and hygiene.

Keep the walls of the spa and the surrounding area clean, and discourage people who are unwell from using the spa.


Provide the spa with a skimming system that will continously tale water from the surface, where most of the rubbish accumulates.

At the end of each day, depending on how many people used the pool, remove a quarter to a half of the water volume, and top it up with fresh water.

Public Spa pools should also be drained at least once a week and cleaned thoroughly, before refilling with fresh water.


Ensure that the water temperature does not exceed 40oC.