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Monday June 3 2024

Water quality for pools and other artificial basins in condominiums: Are you fully aware of the regulations?

In Quebec, water quality in swimming pools and other artificial basins is regulated by the Regulation respecting water quality in swimming pools and other artificial basins (hereinafter referred to as the Regulation).

 

Regulatory requirements

Coming into force on January 1st, 2007, the Regulation establishes a framework for monitoring water quality through rigorous standards, regular testing and record-keeping. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties, including fines imposed by municipalities.

The Ministry of the Environment provides a number of resources on its website to help you better understand the Regulation:

 

Requirements for condominium pools and bassins

Testing requirements vary according to building size:

  •  For buildings with more than 9 units but less than 51 units, three daily tests are mandatory (at opening, at closing and during the opening period).
  •  For buildings with more than 50 units, the same testing frequency applies to all parameters, with the exception of chlorine residual, which must be tested every three hours during the opening period.

 

Water quality standards

Under this Regulation, the microbiological and physico-chemical quality of water in pools must comply with certain standards. For example, microbiological parameters such as fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa must be below 1 CFU/100 ml.

 

Deadlines for microbiological sampling

The Regulation also stipulates that water samples for microbiological testing must be taken at specific intervals:

  • For outdoor basins, samples must be taken at least once every 2 weeks of operation.
  • For indoor basins, samples must be taken at least once every 4 weeks of operation.

It is important to note that there must be a minimum interval of 10 days between samples. Samples must be taken during the basin’s opening hours.

Physico-chemical tests

For physico-chemical tests, the frequency of testing depends on the pond installation. If the pool is equipped with a continuous reading system that records the data collected, physico-chemical tests must be carried out three times a day: at opening, in the middle of the day and at closing.

In the absence of such a system, physico-chemical tests must be carried out every three hours throughout the period from the opening of the pool. Parameters such as water temperature, alkalinity, residual bromine, chloramines, free chlorine residual, total chlorine residual, hardness and pH must be analyzed on site within 30 minutes to 2 hours of sampling.

 

Operator responsibilities

According to the by-law, « the person responsible »  for a pool means any owner or operator of a pool or other artificial pool covered by this by-law.

According to Sylvain Dufresne, lawyer and director of legal affairs at SolutionCondo, the syndicat de copropriété is the « the person responsible »  and is therefore required to ensure compliance with the standards set out in the By-law, and in particular to maintain a register of inspections carried out.

 

Administrative, financial and penal sanctions in the event of non-compliance

Failure to comply with water quality regulations for swimming pools and other artificial basins may result in administrative, financial and penal sanctions.

Depending on the nature of the default, the syndicate may be required to pay an administrative penalty ranging from $1,000 to $7,500.

On the other hand, depending on the nature of the offences, sections 23 to 28.1 of the By-law also provide for fines as penal sanctions.

For example, failure to post the register at the frequency or under the conditions prescribed by section 22 may result in a fine of $1,000 to $100,000 for an individual and $3,000 to $600,000 in other cases.

What’s more, in the case of events such as fecal, vomitus or other accidents, failures in water treatment equipment, or failure to comply with regulatory provisions, the penal sanctions are even greater.

Indeed, according to article 28:

An offence is punishable, in the case of a natural person, by a fine of $8,000 to $500,000 or, despite article 231 of the Code of Penal Procedure (chapter C-25.1), by a maximum term of imprisonment of 18 months, or both, or, in other cases, by a fine of $24,000 to $3,000,000, whoever contravenes article 8 or 17 or the second paragraph of article 18.

 

Our commitment at SolutionCondo

At SolutionCondo, we understand the importance of maintaining water quality in artificial basins, and we implement innovative solutions and techniques to facilitate this process.

Our team of technical experts can assist you in making the appropriate recommendations to ensure compliance with established standards. Whether through consultation, training or the installation of reading systems, we can support you.

With the summer season just around the corner, we invite you to contact us to see how we can help you implement the appropriate measures to comply with the Regulation respecting water quality in swimming pools and other artificial basins.

 

Article written by
Sébastien St-Pierre

Director Technical Department
and
Sylvain Dufresne, Lawyer
Director Legal Affairs

 

 Additional resources:

 

 

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