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Toronto Public Health Recreational Water Inspection Disclosure System

Toronto Public Health Inspection Program

Regulation 565, Public Pools under Ontario's Health Protection and Promotion Act regulates recreational water facilities which sets out the minimum health and safety standards. Toronto Public Health inspects all recreational water faciilties. Toronto Public Health inspects all recreational water faciilties.

Inspection Frequencies for Recreational Water Facilities

The Recreational Water Protocol 2019 sets out the inspection frequencies as once every 90 days while open.

Additional inspections may be required for the following reasons:

  • Before reopening a facility that has been altered, repaired or closed for more than four consecutive weeks
  • To address non-compliance where crucial or significant infractions have been noted in the inspection report provided by the public health inspector
  • In response to complaints
  • Request of an operator/owner

SwimSafe Disclosure

Pool and spa owners and operators are required to provide inspection results to the public. To do this, Toronto Public Health created the SwimSafe disclosure system which requires the owners and operators of public pools and spas to post colour coded Pass, Conditional Pass and Closed inspection notices at the entrances to the pool/spa. Toronto Public Health also posts inspection outcomes on the SwimSafe Inspection Disclosure webpage within 24 hours.

Infraction Category

Toronto Public Health has grouped infractions into three simplified classifications for reporting under the SwimSafe disclosure system: Minor, Significant, and Crucial.

This infraction classification has been applied to all legislative requirements. Resource materials are available to help owners and operators comply with regulatory requirements and pass an inspection.

The following table provides examples of infraction types and the associated inspection results:

Inspection result Infraction Examples

PASS
Minor infractions:

  • Present minimal or no health or safety risk
  • Should be corrected by the next mandated inspection

 

 

  • Improperly maintained record book
  • Inappropriate font size on signs
  • Damaged signs
  • Surfaces or equipment needing minor cleaning or repair

CONDITIONAL PASS
Significant infractions:

  • May potentially present a health or safety hazard
  • Presents increased risk of harm the longer the issue remains unresolved
  • Must be corrected within 24-48 hours or extensions can be allowed by the inspector
  • Legal action may be taken

 

 

  • Lack adequate supply of disinfecting chemicals on hand
  • Surfaces or equipment require major cleaning or repair
  • Lack of equipment that is not crucial to safe operation (e.g., skimmer weirs)
  • Demarcation lines/signage missing
  • Improper cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and surfaces
  • Lack of written procedures for cleaning and sanitizing of equipment and surfaces

CLOSED
Crucial infractions:

  • Present an imminent risk of injury and/or fatality, or spread of disease to facility users
  • Recreational water facilities that are closed because of a health hazard must be re-inspected by a Public Health Inspector before they can reopen
  • Legal action may be taken

 

 

  • Cloudy water – cannot see black disk or other markings used to monitor clarity
  • No sanitizer detected in pool and none in the facility
  • Sewage back-up or an incident in which a facility user fouls the water or deck area
  • Improper, damaged, loose, or missing outlet covers
  • Lack of safe, potable water
  • Inoperable filtration or recirculation system
  • Missing/damaged lifesaving equipment
  • Missing/damaged safety and personal protective equipment or lack of training where chlorine gas is used
  • Lack of sufficient number of lifeguards or lack of proof of lifeguard qualifications
  • Inoperable or unavailable emergency phone

Health Hazards

To eliminate potential health or safety hazards, a Public Health Inspector may issue a verbal or written Order to the owner or operator to take immediate action. Under the Health Protection and Promotion Act; 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 should never allow a health or safety hazard to develop.

Crucial hazards may lead to enforcement action. In the event an order is issued, either verbally or in writing, and the receiver of that order does not immediately comply, enforcement action is likely to be undertaken by the Public Health Inspector.