Pool & Spa Inspection and Disclosure System
Public pools and spas (hot tubs) are regulated under the Health Protection and Promotion Act in the province of Ontario, and are inspected by Public Health Inspectors as mandated by the Ontario Recreational Water Protocol.
Inspections for Recreational Water Facilities
All recreational water facilities in the City of Toronto are regularly inspected between two and four times per year, depending on the facility's operating period. Facilities that are operated year-round receive four inspections, while seasonal facilities receive two inspections.
Additional inspections may be made for the following reasons:
- An inspection is required before reopening a facility that has been altered, repaired or closed for more than four consecutive weeks
- Re-inspections are required to address non-compliance where crucial or significant infractions have been noted
- Complaint inspections are required in response to concerns raised by facility patrons, or outside agencies
- Inspections can be made at the request of an operator/owner for a variety of reasons
The focus of these inspections may focus on specific issues or address the whole facility.
The failure of a facility operator to meet the minimum requirements or standards set out in legislation is referred to as an infraction.
Toronto Public Health has grouped infractions into three simplified classifications for reporting under the Pool and Spa Inspections Disclosure Program: Minor, Serious, and Critical.
These infraction classifications include all of the requirements under the Public Pools Regulation (565/90, as amended), Public Spas Regulation (428/05, as amended) and help operators to understand the seriousness of the infractions.
To reduce the risk of critical infractions and to eliminate associated health or safety hazards, the inspector may orally order the operator or owner to take immediate action. An order may include:
- Instructing the facility users to leave the facility
- Closing the facility for the length of time specified in the order
- Any other action that will reduce or eliminate any hazard and the exposure of facility users to that hazard
Operators are expected to have knowledge and proper training in the operation of the facility, and so should never allow critical hazards to develop. Critical hazards may lead to enforcement action, whether or not the operator takes immediate action to remedy the hazard or remove users from the facility. In the event an order is issued, either orally or in writing, and the receiver of that order does not immediately comply, enforcement action is likely to be undertaken by the inspector.