Aquatic Facilities information

Public aquatic facilities are regulated under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019. The regulations outline registration requirements, general duties of aquatic facility operators, the minimum water quality requirements for aquatic facilities, response procedures for non-compliant water quality, requirements for aquatic facilities suspected or implicated as a source of infection and record-keeping.

On 14 December 2019, the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 replaced the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009.

The requirement to register Category 1 aquatic facilities with Local Government started on the 14 December 2020.

Category 2 aquatic facilities are not required to be registered with Local Government but, the aquatic facility operator has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the standards and requirements are complied with.

Please note that all public aquatic facilities must have a Water Quality Risk Management Plan, which will be requested to accompany the registration application. For more information on how to develop a plan for your facility, visit the Victorian Government's page on Developing a water quality risk management plan for public aquatic facilities


Why have these changes been made?

The changes are designed to:

  • reduce illness and disease outbreaks associated with aquatic facilities
  • improve oversight of aquatic facilities with infection control risks.

The regulations aim to minimise illness transmission from aquatic facilities by providing an efficient and effective response framework for aquatic facilities and local government.

Preventing and minimising illness associated with aquatic facilities reduces:

  • the burden of disease associated with aquatic facilities

  • the economic impact of illness from loss of productivity

  • business closure and reputational impacts associated with outbreaks.


Step 1: Register your aquatic facility

Category 1 Aquatic Facilities are required to Register with Council. An annual registration fee will apply payable prior to 31st December each year. Contact Council's Environmental Health team to obtain an application form. Please refer to the Public Health Fees webpage to ascertain fee costs.

Step 2: Inspection of the aquatic facility

Upon Council receiving your application, one of our authorised officers will assess your documentation.

An inspection of a Category 1 aquatic facility may be required to ensure that compliance with the Regulations has been achieved.

Following the inspection the authorised officer will provide a report as a summary of the inspection, containing any relevant advice or instructions that may be necessary.

Step 3: Certificate of registration, issued by council

Category 1 Aquatic Facilities

Once all documents are finalised, and your payment has been received, council will issue you with a Certificate of Registration under the Public Health & Wellbeing Act 2008.


Category 1 aquatic facility:

means a swimming pool, spa pool or interactive water feature that –

  1. is used by members of the public, whether free of charge or on payment of a fee; or
  2. is used in association with a class or program that is offered free of charge or on payment of a fee; or
  3. is located at the premises of an early childhood service, school or other educational institution; or
  4. is located at premises at which residential aged care services are provided; or
  5. is located at any of the following premises:
    •  public hospital;
    •  multi-purpose service1;
    •  a denominational hospital;
    •  private hospital;

1The functions of a multi-purpose service are the provision of any or a combination of the following – (a) public hospital services; (b) health services; (c) aged care services; (d) community care services; and further criteria as defined in the Health Services Act 1998. 


Category 2 aquatic facility

means a swimming pool or spa pool that is used by members of the public2 and located at the premises of the following –

  1. a residential apartment complex;
  2. a hotel, motel or hostel;

2 While the term ‘members of the public’ is not defined in the regulations, the term in the context of a “category 2 aquatic facility” means persons other than the owners and residents of a residential apartment complex, hotel, motel or hostel.

The following types of aquatic facilities are not required to comply with the regulations and the Water Quality Guidelines:

Exempt facilities means any of the following –

  1. a spa pool that is, or is intended to be, emptied of water after each use;
  2. a floatation tank3;
  3. a spring water pool that has a turnover rate of at least 25 percent of the entire volume of the water in the pool to waste each hour;
  4. a waterway within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Water Act 1989;

a private dam within the meaning of section 3(1) of the Water Act 1989;

3 Floatation tank means a heated, highly saline, fluid-filled enclosed tank designed for individual therapeutic use.