Key Changes to Ontario Regulation 565/90

Requirement to post inspection results

Operators are now required to post the results of public health inspections, in accordance with the inspector’s request. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) will require each facility to post a “Check Before You Choose” sign in a conspicuous location within the perimeter of the water facility. The signs will be provided to all operators by their area inspector.

Operator training requirements

Every operator of a public pool or spa is required to be trained in the pool/spa operation and maintenance, filtration systems, water chemistry and all relevant safety and emergency procedures.

The addition of Class C facilities

Public splash pads, wading pools and water slide receiving basins, known collectively as Class C facilities, are now included in the regulation. It contains requirements for notification, general maintenance, supervision and disinfection.   

Notification requirements

Operators of Class A, B, C and spa facilities are required to notify WDGPH in writing of their intent to operate/open at least 14 days prior to (re)opening.

Lifeguard and assistant lifeguard certification

“Lifeguard certificate” and “assistant lifeguard certificate” now includes certificates issued by the Lifesaving Society, Canadian Red Cross or another organization that provides equivalent training in lifeguarding and that is approved by the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care for that purpose.

Admission standards

Class A pools are now required to have a process in place to ensure guardian supervision of children under 10 years of age. Pool operators are encouraged to continue using existing admission policies that meet the regulatory requirements such as those recommended by the Chief Coroner of Ontario. Operators may also consult with industry experts on best practices (e.g., swim tests) to meet the requirements of the regulation at their facility.

Water chemistry

Upper limits have been added for the following parameters:

  • Free available chlorine in pools (10 ppm)
  • Bromine in public pools (4 ppm)
  • Alkalinity (120 ppm)

Additionally, cyanuric acid is no longer permitted for use in spas and continues to not be permitted for use in pools partially or totally covered by a roof.

Recording frequency

Daily inspection and recording frequencies for pH and sanitizer residuals are dependent on whether an automatic sensing device is present.

  • If an automatic sensing device IS present: every operator of a public pool, spa, wading pool and splash pad must test and record chlorine/bromine, pH, total alkalinity and water clarity at a minimum of 30 minutes prior to opening and every 4 hours while open.
  • If an automatic sensing device IS NOT present: every operator of a pool, spa, wading pool and splash pad must test and record chlorine/bromine, pH, total alkalinity and water clarity at a minimum of 30 minutes prior to opening and every 2 hours while open.

Safety equipment

Class B pool operators must ensure there is a buoy line separating the deep area from the shallow area where the slope of the pool is greater than 8 percent. The Ontario Building Code requires all public pools to be equipped with the fittings for attaching a buoy line where the slope of a pool is greater than 8 percent.

Ticketing under the Provincial Offences Act

Non-compliance with the Public Pool Regulation 565/90 may result in the owner/operator being issued a ticket under the Provincial Offences Act (POA). Schedule 39 of Regulation 950 under the POA includes short-form wording and set fine amounts that range from $55 to $465 based on the severity of the infraction.