Spa pools

Maintaining a spa pool

Spa pools (also known as hot tubs, whirlpool spa, whirlpools and commonly as Jacuzzi which is the name of one particular brand) can offer a pleasant relaxing environment for a few people to sit in together and enjoy the effects of the air and water jets.

However the water is not replaced after each use but disinfected and re-circulated. If they are not managed properly spa pools can be the cause of infections. The most severe is the potentially fatal Legionnaires' disease which has even been caused when the spa pools were simply on display for sales purposes.

As a recognised source of Legionnaires' disease they are subject to health and safety laws requiring managers, designers, manufacturers and installers to ensure spa pools remain safe.

Whirlpool baths are similar to spa pools but are normally only used by one or two people at a time, are often found in bathrooms and are drained after each use but they are still a potential source of infections if not looked after properly.

Where to get further information.

Public Health England (formerly the Health Protection Agency) has produced guidance that will be of use to all who have anything to do with spa pools from the designer to the user. Following this guidance will normally ensure compliance with the law.

  • Part one details the legal duties of owners, managers, designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers and installers.
  • Part two provides practical guidance on the control of infectious agents in spa pools encompassing: treatment programmes; monitoring; cleaning and disinfection; design and construction; whirlpool baths; and hiring and other commercial uses.
  • It includes checklists to assist with auditing risk assessments; a trouble shooting guide; poolside water testing procedures; a list of sources of information and a comprehensive index.