Understand the rules and regulations in relation to swimming pools in southern Spain…
The regulations regarding community pools generally apply to the control of water sanitation. However, the Junta de Andalucía (Andalucía Government) have added a number of other stringent regulations regarding communal swimming pools which service over 20 dwelling units.
Swimming Pool Regulations
The regulations are as follows:
Children’s pools are those intended for use of children under six years of age. These pools should be no deeper than 40cm nor have slants or slopes of over 10 percent. Children’s pools should be totally independent so not to allow children to gain access to other pool areas accidentally.
Ladders should be installed at least every 25 meters or fraction of the perimeter. They should be constructed of stainless steel for ease of cleaning and should be deep enough to allow for comfortable climbing, but must not reach the bottom of the pool.
The deck is considered the area immediately around the pool. The deck should have a minimum width one meter and should be of a material that prevents slipping. Its design should prevent the formation of puddles and the flow of water back into the pool.
Community pools should have as many life buoys as there are pool ladders. They should be installed in visible places and be accessible by swimmers. Each ring or life buoy must have a rope tied to it which is at least half the maximum width of the pool plus 3 meters.
Swimming pools for collective use should have a Fist Aid kit with all necessary materials for treatment of pool users. If the pool water surface is over 600 meters squared, an easily accessible independent room, with appropriate signs, should be available to administer first aid.
All swimming facilities for collective use with a total water surface area of 200 meters squared or more should have a qualified lifeguard. For swimming facilities of between 200 and 500 meters squared there should be one lifeguard. A minimum of two lifeguards are required for pool with a total water surface area of between 500 and 1000 meters squared, or one additional life guard per pool or per fraction of 500 meters squared.
Community pools should provide toilets and dressing room facilities in well ventilated indoor premises. They should have running water, toilet paper, disposable towels and soap dispensers.
Showers should be placed in the vicinity of the pool area. Numbers of showers should be at least equal to the number of pool ladders. The shower base must be non-slip with a sufficient slope to allow for drainage. Shower heads should be either replaced on a yearly basis for the purposes of hygiene.
Register and control book
A Register and Control Book (libro de registro y control) should be kept for each pool. This book should be available for inspection at the request of both the health authority and any users of the pool facilities.
When the pool is not in use, at night and in the off season, it should be protected by a lockable fence. There are currently no guidelines as to the height of the fence, however, with respect to French law, which is likely to be taken as the European standard, the fence should be a minimum of 1.2 meters in height and have self-locking gates. This is by far the safest measure, even when the pool is in use, as it ensures that young children cannot accidentally enter the pool area without supervision.
Every swimming facility for collective use should have displayed a set of Internal Rules which shall contain at least:
- A prohibition to enter the bathing area wearing “street” clothes or shoes
- An indication that it is compulsory to shower prior to entering the pool
- A prohibition to litter and an indication to use waste paper bins
- In indoor swimming facilities, an indication to use bathing caps
- A prohibition to enter the swimming facility with pets, with the exception of guide dogs
Other signs that should be displayed in prominent positions are:
- Water depth signs both at both ends of the pool and intermittently depending on the length of the pool
- First aid and directions to it
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- Toilets and directions to them
- The Spanish Emergency Services number
This is a very brief rundown of the laws regarding Community or Communal pools in Andalucía. These laws are continuously changing and updating. For further information contact a specialist in the field.