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Pool & Spa Operators

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Recreational Water Facility Operators


We inspect public recreational water facilities such as pools, spas, wading pools, splash pads, spray pads and waterslide receiving basins. Our goal is to help prevent or reduce water-related illnesses and injuries related to recreational water use. Our inspections help to ensure your recreational water facility is meeting the requirements of Ontario Regulation 565/90: Public Pools.  This regulation sets out the legal requirements for your recreational water facility. You are required to be familiar with the regulation and ensure your facility meets the legal requirements.

The Ontario Regulation 565/90 applies to the following recreational water facilities:

  • Class A and Class B public pools
  • Public spas
  • Class C facilities (public wading pools, splash pads and waterslide receiving basins)

We’ve created a self-inspection checklist to help you meet the requirements of Ontario Regulation 565/90 and more detail about these requirements can be found in the sections below:

Written notification must be provided to us at least 14 days before opening a public recreational water facility that has been closed for more than four weeks or a newly constructed/renovated facility. As an owner or operator of a public recreational water facility, you must complete and submit a notification form.  

Please note: a new online submission form will be available in May of 2024.

You must receive written permission from one of our public health inspectors prior to opening a newly constructed or renovated recreational water facility.

Owners of recreational water facilities must designate an operator that is trained in recreational water facility operation, maintenance, safety and emergency procedures, filtration systems and water chemistry. Our inspectors will ask operators to confirm their training during inspections.

Training courses are available through private companies:

Course content should cover the following at a minimum:

  • public health legislation and regulations,
  • prevention of illness, injury, and death,
  • pool water chemistry,
  • sanitary operation,
  • safety equipment,
  • emergency communication procedures,
  • safety supervision,
  • admission standards and record keeping.

Courses that provide certification are recommended. Certification provides evidence that an individual has a quantifiable understanding of their field of work.

In June 2023, the legal age of lifeguards, assistant lifeguards and aquatic instructors/coaches was lowered from 16 to 15 years of age under Ontario Regulation 565/90.  

Owners/operators of class A and B pools, waterpark pools and wave action pools can now employ certified lifeguards, assistant lifeguards, and aquatic instructors/coaches 15 years of age or older.

For more information and to assist with answering questions, the following documents have been developed by the Ministry of Health:

Summary Sheet



Public spas (hot tubs) operated in conjunction with an individual dwelling unit or suite at a hotel for exclusive use by guests are exempt from Ontario Regulation 565/90 provided cautionary signs are  posted. This can include an in-suite hot tub or a hot tub on a private balcony/deck. Public spas such as those operated at a hotel with fewer than six dwelling units or suites for use by guests and their visitors are also exempt from Regulation 565 provided cautionary signs are posted.

Please note that a “hotel” is defined under the regulation as a hotel, inn, motel, resort or other building or premises operated to provide sleeping accommodation for the public.

Owners/operators of an exempt spa are required to post the following cautionary sign in a conspicuous location near the spa: 

  • A caution sign indicating to use the spa at your own risk and the spa is not subject to Ontario Regulation 565 Public Pools; and
  • The public spas caution notice sign, as outlined under subsection 19.1(1) of Regulation 565, which provides further guidance on the proper use of a spa.  

All owners/operators are still responsible and liable for ensuring that the exempt public spa is operated in a safe manner that protects the health of all users.

Although exempted public spas are not subject to routine inspection, public health units still have the authority to conduct complaint-based inspections for potential health hazards.

Public health units can also confirm cautionary signage is posted when at your place of business conducting inspections of other facilities such as but not limited to food premises, small drinking water systems and recreational water facilities.        

For more information and to assist with answering questions, the following documents have been developed by the Ministry of Health:

Residential pools used for swimming lessons or rented by members of the public and operating as a business are required to meet the legal requirements under Ontario Regulation 565/90, as well as other applicable local bylaws.

Ontario Regulation 565/90 is in place to protect public health and reduce a swimmer’s exposure to the potential dangers and risks in aquatic settings including water-borne illnesses, injuries, and drownings. If pools are operated safely, water related illnesses and injury can be prevented.

The Ministry of Health has developed a factsheet to assist owners with residential pool rentals.    

Under Ontario Regulation 565/90, you are required to notify us of your intent to operate your pool as a business for public rentals or swimming lessons.

Please complete and submit the notification form available on our website here

Please contact us, if you require further information.  

The following self-inspection checklists are available to assist you with meeting the legal requirements for your recreational water facility.

Site Specific Self-Inspection Checklists

Combined Self-Inspection Checklist

Public pool, spa, and Class C facility - Operator's manual

Recreational Water Opening Request Form (new online submission form will be available in May of 2024)

Pool and spa maintenance records:

Closing Criteria

External links

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