Reopening Swimming Pools in Condominiums – An Update
In our previous blog regarding Stage 2 of the government’s Framework for reopening the province, we mentioned that all indoor and outdoor swimming pools would be allowed to reopen as of Friday June 12, 2020.
We have since received many questions from condominium Boards and Property Managers about the process and the requirements for reopening swimming pools. By way of overall summary, the procedures are essentially the same as the procedures that apply to normal springtime opening of a pool.
We’ve spoken with Ottawa Public Health, and here are some of the details:
- Subsection 5(3) of Regulation 565 respecting public pools (made under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990) mentions that, where the closure of a public pool has lasted for more than four weeks, the owner or operator of the pool is required to notify public health authorities (a medical officer of health or public health inspector) in writing at least 14 days before reopening the pool. Note that this generally applies to pools operated by condominiums. The notification must include:
- The date on which the pool is to be reopened.
- The name and address of the operator.
- Whether the pool is operated as a Class A or a Class B pool.
- Under subsection 2(2) of the Regulation, a pool that is operated in conjunction with a condominium property that contains six or more dwelling units is considered a Class B pool.
Accordingly, Ottawa Public Health has advised that a written notification to the Medical Officer of Health is required two weeks prior the proposed reopening of the pool. A public health inspector will then attend at the property to inspect the pool and provide authorization to reopen. Pool owners and operators can notify the Medical Officer of Health by submitting the Public Pool Re-Opening Notification Form by fax or email to Ottawa Public Health.
Pools owners and operators that proceed with reopening without first having notified Ottawa Public Health could be found in breach of the Regulation and may receive a $75.00 fine.
We have also received questions about the requirement to have lifeguards present at pools. While the Regulation generally requires public pools to be supervised by a lifeguard as part of its safety supervision requirements, subsection 17 (19) of the Regulation exempts Class B pools (other than pools operated in conjunction with a child care centre or day camp) under the following conditions:
- Class B pools with a water surface area of 93 square meters or less are exempt from the safety supervision requirements as long as the following notice is printed and displayed in a conspicuous location within the pool enclosure:
THIS POOL IS UNSUPERVISED. BATHERS UNDER TWELVE YEARS OF AGE ARE NOT ALLOWED WITHIN THE POOL ENCLOSURE UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT OR HIS OR HER AGENT WHO IS NOT LESS THAN SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE.
- Similarly, Class B pools with a water surface area that is greater than 93 square meters are exempt from the safety supervision requirements as long as the following notice and displayed in a conspicuous location within the pool enclosure:
THIS POOL IS UNSUPERVISED. BATHERS UNDER TWELVE YEARS OF AGE ARE NOT ALLOWED WITHIN THE POOL ENCLOSURE UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT OR HIS OR HER AGENT WHO IS NOT LESS THAN SIXTEEN YEARS OF AGE. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BATHERS ON THE DECK AND IN THE POOL SHALL NOT EXCEED TEN.
For more information on the admission standards for swimming pools, please consult this important Notice from Ottawa Public Health.
We hope this update will clarify some uncertainties and help ease some apprehensions about reopening swimming pools. We will be sure to bring you the most up-to-date information as the situation surrounding COVID-19 and Stage 2 reopening continues to evolve.
Stay tuned to Condo Law News to keep up to date on the latest developments in condominium law!