A healthy dip in the swimming pool, thanks to standards and regulations

On hot summer days, for those not fortunate enough to have their own swimming pool in the garden, a dip in a public pool can be very refreshing. Provided the swimming pool infrastructure is safe and hygienic and the water quality is constantly monitored.

Regional regulations in Belgium for swimming pools

In Belgium, different decrees regulate the operation of public swimming pools in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.

In Flanders, all swimming pools that are open to the public, including those that are privately owned, have to conform to the Flemish environmental legislation (referred to as Vlarem II).

In Wallonia, the operation of outdoor and indoor public swimming pools is regulated by two decrees of the Walloon government of 13 June, 2013.

In the capital Brussels, the Decree of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region of 10 October, 2002 applies.

European standards for public swimming pools

At European level there are several standards for swimming pools, detailing the security and quality requirements included in the various regulations. They are intended for manufacturers and operators of public pools.

  • The standards NBN EN 15288-1+A1 and NBN EN 15288-2 contain safety requirements for the design and operation of swimming pools. These standards apply to swimming pools classified as type 1 or 2. Type 1 swimming pools are pools were the water-related activities are the main business, such as communal pools, leisure pools, water parks, aqua parks etc. Type 2 pools are part of accommodations where the pool is an additional service, such as hotel pools, camping pools and therapeutic pools.
  • Standard NBN EN 13451 for swimming pool equipment (11 parts). This standard contains safety requirements and test methods for ladders, starting platforms, diving platforms, moveable pool floors and other equipment.

Finally, a series of standards deals with the chemicals used for the treatment of swimming pool water (NBN EN 15363, NBN EN 15513, NBN EN 15514 etc.).

All these standards are available from the NBN catalogue.

Thanks to all these standards and regulations you need not worry about the health risks of swimming in a public pool, even if you accidentally swallow a mouthful of water.