Recreational Water Quality

Recreational water includes pools, hot tubs, and bathing beaches at lakes, rivers and the ocean. Children and adults use recreational water for sport, health and relaxation, so it is important to keep it safe, clean and healthy.

Decision Protocols for Cyanobacterial Toxins in B.C. Drinking Water and Recreational Water

The purpose of Decision Protocols for Cyanobacterial Toxins in B.C. Drinking Water and Recreational Water (PDF, 258KB) is to provide standardized processes (steps) for water suppliers, local governments and health authorities to follow when monitoring cyanobacterial bloom events. Both protocols (for drinking water and recreational water) recommend actions that should be taken to address potential cyanobacterial blooms and associated microcystin issues.

Consultation on the Ministry of Health’s updated document Decision Protocol for Managing Cyanobacterial Toxins in B.C. Drinking Water and Recreational Water

The Ministry of Health is seeking input on the recently drafted guidance document titled Decision Protocol for Assessing and Managing Cyanobacterial Toxins in B.C. Drinking Water and Recreational Water (PDF 620KB). This protocol is intended to provide strategies and resources to assist local governments, health authorities, and water system operators to assess and manage risks related to cyanobacterial bloom formations in waterbodies used for both recreational and drinking water purposes.

Any feedback you may have can be sent to the Health Protection Branch at the Ministry of Health via email, HP-PHW@gov.bc.ca

Please submit feedback by April 23, 2018.

Pools and Hot Tubs

B.C.’s health authorities approve and regularly inspect public/commercial pools and hot tubs to ensure these facilities are safely constructed and operated according to the Pool Regulation under the Public Health Act.

B.C. Guidelines for Pool Design and Operations

The following guidelines are intended to help pool designers, operators and regulators interpret the Pool Regulation and represent generally accepted minimum standards of safe practices:

Pool Safety Plan Guide

Pool Safety Plan Guide pool operators must create a comprehensive, written pool safety plan for their facility, detailing the actions to be taken to ensure the health and safety of pool patrons. The following two documents, the pool guide with a fillable safety plan and the basic fillable pool safety plan, have been developed to help operators create a custom pool safety plan for their facility.

Bathing Beaches

Health authorities may sample the water quality of recreational beaches or create reports on recreational water quality concerns to help inform them of any public health risks. At their discretion, they may decide to close beaches, issue public advisories or post warning signs based on these sampling results, until the water samples indicate that it is safe to resume swimming in these waters.

Beach Condition Reports

The regional health authorities post current beach conditions on their websites: