Water Quality

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The Lifesaving Society wishes to advise lifeguards in the province of Quebec about everyone’s roles and responsibilities concerning water quality.

The person responsible for the pool* must ensure a vigilant supervision of the parameters of bathing water quality in order to ensure bathers security and comfort.  The person responsible for the pool and the safety supervisors must be aware of the water quality parameters during opening hours in order to react properly if a non-compliance situation arises.  Water samples results must be registered in an Information Record available to facility patrons.  The person responsible for the pool must develop a  facility’s operations handbook and make it available to staff members.

Non-compliance situations

The person in charge of the pool must immediately evacuate bathers and close access to the pool, if:

  • the water clarity doesn’t allow to see the 150 millimeters in diameter black disc in the deep area of the pool (no buffer zone accepted) or if turbidity is higher than 5 NTU;
  • there is a fecal or vomit accident in the water;
  • a safety check is required;
  • there is a hazard caused by the presence of dangerous substances in the water or on deck;
  • there is a hazard due to any other circumstances threatening bathers safety;
  • there is a breakdown of water treatment equipments (overheating engines, filtration breakeage, broken feed pump, etc.);
  • the parameters are as follows:
    • the residual of free available chlorine is higher than 5.0 mg/L or
    • chloramines is higher than 1.0 mg/L during more than 24 hours or
    • the residual of free available chlorine is lower than 0.3 mg/L or
    • total bromine residual is lower than 0.6 mg/L
  • 24 hours after the first microbiological tests was collected, the second testing is still not in compliance (Reference: section 5 of Regulation respecting water quality in swimming pools and other artificial pools).

For all shutdown reasons described above, appropriate corrective measures must be taken and supplementary testing must be done prior to reopening the pool to patrons.

Since basic notions on pool water quality are part of the National Lifeguard training, in cases where safety supervisors are also responsible for pool water quality management, we recommend that these people receive appropriate training.  In addition to National Lifeguard training, such training should be adapted according to the facility’s specifications regarding water quality maintenance under their responsibility.

The Regulation concerning water quality in swimming pools and other artificial pools is available on the Web site at www.mddep.gouv.qc.ca under sections Water/Recreational Waters.

* The person responsible for the pool means the owner or operator of a swimming pool.