Make sure your pool complies with the legislation
In the summer, a common practice is to go to public swimming pools to cool off the heat and enjoy with family or friends. Therefore, it is important that we know what these facilities should be like and what requirements they must meet so that consumers can enjoy them safely. In the following report from the Consumer Portal we help you to know these requirements in detail.
At the Region of Madrid, the conditions that regulate the use of pools for collective use are included in the Decree 80 / 1998, where the aspects that must be met in this type of facility are established.
La swimming pool legislation These facilities are divided into two types:
- Pools for collective use. That includes swimming pools for public use, which are those that are accessed by paying, such as municipal, sports, hotels and other free-use pools; and swimming pools for private use, which are those that belong to facilities such as neighborhood communities.
- Private pools. These are single-family homes, which are those found in private homes.
In the case of pools for collective use, it is the responsibility of the owner who manages the pool to ensure that its facilities have the appropriate elements to prevent health risks and guarantee the health of the facilities.
In addition, they are required to provide minimum information, among others, on the chemical substances and mixtures used in water treatment, the existence (or not) of a lifeguard and the addresses and telephone numbers of the nearest health centers or the standards of use of the pool and the rights and duties of users.
In the case of swimming pools for public use, they must also offer information on the prevention of drowning, head injuries or spinal cord injuries. In uncovered pools, they must also provide information on how to protect themselves from the sun.
When you visit public swimming pools, where an entrance ticket is required, always keep it until you leave the premises. Also, you will need it in case you want to claim. All pools for public use must have claim forms.
Types of pools
Depending on its dimensions and the type of use, we can find four types of pools: children, recreational, sports and jumping. The conditions that must be met in each case are the following:
- Splash or children: They are intended for users under six years of age. They must be located in a separate and isolated location from the adult area. The minimum depth may not exceed 0,30 meters and the maximum 0,60 meters. The soil may not offer slopes greater than 6%.
- Recreational or multipurpose: With a maximum slope of 6%, they can reach a depth of up to 3 meters, this depth must be marked inside and outside the pool.
- Sports: They will be subject to the rules of the corresponding sports organizations or the international rules for the practice of each sport in question.
- Of jumps: The depth must be in accordance with the height of the springboards and this pool area must be located more than 5 meters from any other.
In all of the above cases, the pool shell must be built in such a way as to ensure its stability and resistance. It will not have angles or bends or obstacles that hinder the circulation and renewal of water. The bottom and walls must be covered with smooth, non-slip, waterproof materials and resistant to chemical agents, they must be light in color and easy to clean and disinfect. The slope changes will be smooth and will be duly signposted on the sides of the pool.
Presence of a lifeguard, medical or nursing professional.
It is mandatory that the pools have a lifeguard that it is always present during all opening hours (except in the case of the pool of a community of owners with less than 30 homes, in which case it is not mandatory).
If the pools measure between 500 and 1000 m2 a medical or nursing professional must be hired, who must have the necessary material to care for an injured person on the premises if the situation arises.
Water quality and treatment
El pool water must be filtered and disinfected. In addition, it must be free of pathogenic organisms and substances in an amount or concentration that may pose a risk to human health.
Pools must have a drainage system that allows rapid removal of water and sediment. The emptying will be done through the sewer network. To avoid accidents, the drains that are at the bottom of the pool basin must be adequately protected by security devices, without the existence of physical elements that can retain the user underwater.
Another aspect that consumers must take into account when going to a pool for collective use is the presence of stairs. Know that, regardless of whether the pool has possible steps or access ramps, must have stairs in the vicinity of the angle and in the zones of change of bottom slope. Between one ladder and another there may not be a distance greater than 15 meters, they will be embedded and must have non-slip steps. Ladders must reach deep enough underwater to comfortably exit the pool.
The promenade or platform is the area that completely surrounds the pool basin. Is considered barefoot area, so it must be free of impediments and must be built with non-slip pavements. In the swimming pools of the Community of Madrid, the platform must have a minimum width of one meter and be designed in such a way that it avoids pooling and spillage of water into the pool. Likewise, it must have water intakes to be able to periodically clean and disinfect it.
When the swimming pools are uncovered, they must have potable water showers on their walks or platforms. minimum number of two and one more for every 20 meters of perimeter. Showers must have direct drains to the sewer network and must be evenly distributed around the platform. The shower tray will have to be made of non-slip material.
trampolines and slides
Unless it is a jumping pool, in the rest of the facilities for collective use the existence of jumping levers or springboards is prohibited. Sliders or slides may be admitted, which must be made of stainless, smooth material and without joints or flaps that could cause injuries. The slides must be located in delimited and signposted areas, so that their use does not cause inconvenience to the rest of the bathers.
Swimming pools must be subject to current regulations regarding the removal of architectural barriers, so as to facilitate their use and enjoyment as much as possible by people with reduced mobility.
changing rooms and toilets
All pools for collective use must have different toilets and changing rooms for each sex and must be open during the time that the pool offers service. They must meet the following conditions:
- will be installed in covered and ventilated premises To the exterior
- They shall be built of vitrified ceramic material or similar, easy to clean and disinfect
- The height will never be less than 2,80 meters
- Cleaning and disinfection of surfaces will be daily, As minimum
- They will have two entrances, one for clothed people and another that leads to the bathing area
- They will have drinking running water and they will be equipped with a soap dispenser and single-use towels, toilet paper or a hairdryer.
- La minimum endowment of hygienic services In swimming pools, it will be determined based on the number of square meters of water that the pool has: for example, if it is up to 100 square meters, it must have 2 showers, 2 toilets and 2 sinks; if it is between 501 and 1.000 square meters it must have 10 showers, 10 toilets and 4 sinks and if it is between 2.001 and 4.000 square meters it will have 20 showers, 20 toilets and 12 sinks.
All swimming pools will have internal regulations for users, which must be complied with, which will be displayed in a visible place at the entrance to the establishment, and which, among others, must contain the following requirements:
- Before bathing in the pool, the showers must be used.
- It will not be possible to enter with street shoes in the beach area.
- You will not be able to eat in the beach area.
If you have any incident regarding the adequacy of the pool with the technical criteria, water quality and breach of the obligations of the owners of the same regarding their use, you can file a claim with the competent Health Administration.
If it is an incident regarding the establishment's claim forms and damages caused to pool users and you see your rights as a consumer violated, you can file a claim, either in person, at the Municipal Consumer Information Office closest to your home, Consumer Service Office of the Community of Madrid, or through internet.
If a injury or blow, which involves surgical intervention or hospitalization due to some negligence of the pool owner, we recommend that you go to court and courts of Justice to file your complaint.