Pools and condominiums, rules and regulations

Whether you’re buying or renting a condominium, pools are often high on a house hunter’s list of desired amenities. But as a developer, landlord, condominium board or purchaser, before you dive into the deep end, it’s important to be aware of the rules and regulations that govern public pools.

The Health Protection and Promotion Act Regulation 565 Public Pools came into force on July 1, 2018. The regulation did not provide for any transitional time, so all organizations have to be in full compliance. This new regulation governs public pools and their maintenance. The regulation applies to all pools in a condominium or apartment building, with more than six units.

This new regulation sets out clear rules and procedures for the maintenance of public pools. While the regulation aims to protect public health, it means stricter rules when it comes to the operators of public pools.

These revised requirements aim to eliminate inconsistencies and improve clarity and public safety through testing and recording frequencies, general facility maintenance, first aid box contents and operator training.

OVERARCHING REQUIREMENTS

One of the most substantial changes is the notification requirement. Pool operators are now required to notify the medical officer of health or public health inspector of their intent to operate a pool in writing at least 14 days before the pool is put into use after construction or after any closure that lasts for more than four weeks.

Rules with regard to on-site posting have also been revised. The regulation stipulates that the results of any inspections conducted by a public health inspector are to be posted. This requirement aims to provide more open and transparent information to the public and support compliance efforts.

The regulation has also introduced strict rules on operator training. Each pool operator needs to be trained in its operation and maintenance, filtration systems, water chemistry and all relevant safety and emergency procedures.

NEW SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

The Ontario Building Code currently requires that pools with a slope of greater than eight per cent be equipped with the fittings for a safety buoy line. This was following a recommendation that all unsupervised pools, i.e. those without a lifeguard, require a buoy line.

The regulation also stipulates that ground fault circuit interrupters must be tested more frequently and first aid kits are required to have sufficient quantities of supplies.

NON-COMPLIANCE LEADS TO PENALTIES

Now under the Provincial Offences Act (POA), public health inspectors are authorized to issue provincial offence notices (tickets) for infractions. The fine amounts vary depending on the severity of the infraction.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU?

So how does this affect you, the prospective purchaser of a condominium or renter of an apartment? It means that the pool should be a safer, healthier place. That’s the good news. The downside is that the maintenance costs of a condominium unit will probably need to be increased to take into consideration the cost of implementing the new changes and the maintenance requirements that go along with it. For a renter, it means that a new rental in a building with a pool may have a rent increase.

So before you get into too deep, make sure you are familiar with all of the changes and what the impact will be on you personally.

Mail, deliver or fax letters to the magazine or to us through our web site, schwarzlaw.ca, or by email at info@schwarzlaw.ca and give us your questions, concerns, critiques and quandaries. We will try to deal with them in print or electronic form.

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