# Swimming pool law

Assume my house has a swimming pool without the requisite protection as per the law. I decide on a whim to rent the house out for a week whilst I go on holiday, (a one off rental).

The people who rent from me have children of a young age. I have told the people who rent the house that the security cover must not be taken off the pool.

They do take the cover off and there is an accident, who is responsible ?

There is no requirement to filter at 50m3/hour, the turnover frequency rate is set by the depth of the pool, the amount of the water required per hour is calculated from that so if you have a 200m3 pool then 50m3/hour is likely. if you have a 10m x 5m x 1.5m = 75m3 then the rate would be 18.75m3/hour. The Stupid part about France is they don't specify the flow rate through the filters so filtering could be almost a waste of time as too higher rate means the sand filter will channel and dirt and bacteria will pass straight through instead of being filtered out. The filters have a plate on them which shows the maximum rate and frequently that is what is used normal running mode and not the backwash rate and is too fast anyway which is the fault of the Americans who must do everything bigger, faster etc so marketing departments try to out do each other. Slower filtration is better filtration.

The pipework size needs to be the correct one to obtain the flow required in the time to turnover the water. Just because the pump plate says 25m3/hour does not mean you will get that once pipes, filters and fittings have been added. This is a particular area that French pool builders fail to understand as most of them are block layers with aspirations of the good life and not hydraulic engineers.

In order to turnover the water in the correct time the correct number of pool returns are needed and two per skimmer is a minimum depending on the required flow rate.

It is good practice to use 1 skimmer per 25m3 maximum, here again the French regs are stupid as they don't specify if for example 3 skimmers were connected to 1 pipe or 3 skimmers connected to 3 pipes which again from a flow point is really important.

There is the need to replace 30 litres of water per bather/day. Is this is based on French turnover rates which produce bad filtered water? In the case of excellent filtration at the correct rate you would be putting in dirty municipal water and taking out cleaner pool water to dispose of.

Personally, I would run the pool at it's maximum efficiency which produces the cleanest water conditions and just ramp up the variable speed pool pump to satisfy the DDASS/ARS for their visit and then switch it down again when they have gone.

The regs like the pool designs are way out of date but are soon to be replaced with the new European regs (heaven help us all) as these will be written by the very best pool companies and of course are likely to be based around product sales, I kid you not, There are those of us who know how to engineer the best filtration and flow systems which can save around 85-90% of the running cost of a standard pool but that doesn't sell many add ons and with filter media that doesn't need changing I cannot see that as the specification for Europe as to many big players in the pool industry will see to that.

Peter the amount of chlorine produced depends on the size of the unit it could be 10, 15 or 20+ grams per hour but it's only added a few drops at a time but a dosing pump could add litres per hour or multiples of so when a bus load of children turn up to swim they are all sweaty bodies with skin cells and fecal material between the bum cheeks chlorine could and does get used up very quickly, if that isn't replaced in time bacteria via the fecal oral route can transmit pathogens that could cause an out break and infect an entire village. These things actually happen in commercial pools each year but only the big ones make the press.

http://library.nhsggc.org.uk/mediaAssets/library/nhsggc_eastwood_pool_report_2007-12-10.pdf

Automatic chlorine and pH dosers are very cheap to run at only around 15-20watts per pump but they like any machine need looking after and calibrating maybe 1 a year. Probes wear out and need replacing around £60- 120 every couple of years. Feed tubes at around £10 need replacing at least every two years.

As you said salt chlorine units have got better and providing things are not specified right at the maximum of their working ability then they too have a place as the transport of dangerous goods act makes it harder/more expensive to ship chlorine around. Yes they do tend to cause a pH drift upwards so a pH- doser is needed as well which makes a mockery of the advertisers nonsense about "No more harsh chemicals" so hydrochloric or sulphuric acid isn't harsh then?

Chlorine lasts a lot longer if people showered properly before entering the pool and reduces a lot of the nasty chlorine by products.

I know which is why I was told that you needed two systems of filtration and pumps etc! Great here a'int it

Interesting. Whats a "tiny amount " of chlorine, in figures, please. And how does a sudden increase in batherload change the chlorine concentration. I ask, because we had a salt pool for a few years, and it seemed to work fine ( though its true i didnt measure bacteriological concentration, but then you dont, even if you have a ordinary chlorine pool). The only reason we changed back to chlorine, was that the system keeps on raising the ph (so really you need an automatic pH machine, as I'm sure you know), and as we are not on site, that was an inconvenience. Automatic chlorine machines sound good, though - are they expensive to run?

Peter

Wow, 50 cu m/h is more than the biggest Hayward pump (3HP) can deliver!

Hi Peter,

The issue with salt pools is the tiny amount of chlorine produced cannot cope with a sudden increase in batherload so they will be working on catchup and could leave bacteria/virus to be passed from one bather to another. Direct chlorine injection will continue to add chlorine until a specified level is met and it can cope with the batherload of a commercial pool.

It is true that many of the large French pool companies who should know better have and still are installing salt chlorinators on pools for gite complexes and hotels etc. The problem when you try to tell people is they are often of the belief you are making it up to make a sale, like wise when you tell/show them that the water turnover is no where near what it should be and it will be impossible to make it so without changing things.

Interesting discussion! This link seems to distinguish between Private pools "a usage collectif"( hotels, camping, etc), private pools "mais payant"( gites, chambres d'hotes, restaurants, etc ), and piscine familial, with different "obligations" for each.

http://www.secourisme.info/dossiers/imprim.php3?titre=Piscines%20%E0%20caract%E8re%20priv%E9&auteur=&fich=../imageweb/dossiers/piscin06.lio

Wrong. You may also have a vertical shutter which, when buckled up, would hold a child if they fell in. Obviously once the cover is open the pool has to be supervised.

While inspections by DDASS are rare they do have a lot of power to close pools instantly. There is much confusion in the industry itself (as John said), for example we were told by a local shop that we needed one skimmer per 25 cu m of water but the pool sites state 1 skimmer per 25 sq m of surface. Further "experts" have said that:-

1. You need to "turn over" 50 cu m per hour of water with the filters

2. All pipe work should be a minimum of 63mm not 50mm.

3. Test of the water should be made more than once a day and a chart be available for inspection in the pool machine room.

4. There should be 2 pushers per skimmer

5. Chlorine supply should be automatic, as should Ph supply.

And so it goes on. However we all know that each inspector (who charges for each visit and test) will have their own interpretation.

For fuller discussions on this the web site for Gite owners "Lay My Hat" has many such discussions.

I have been doing a little digging on the salt pool for gites and found this

http://poitoucharentes.angloinfo.com/forum/viewtopic/15223/0/salt-water-pools-and-gites

But don't those laws (re testing water quality) come in only when you have 10 or more bedrooms) - never head the one about salt pools anyway - do you have any links with more info?

Hi, I was under the impression that Salt water systems generate chlorine (in the form of hypochlorite), instead of it being added. So instead of the chlorine level going up and down with the supply, it stays constant. Probably less bacteria, therefore.

I dont think there is such a thing as a safe pool. I remember once in our gite, all the parents and kids went round the pool after lunch, most fell asleep, but luckily granny didnt, and fished out little Johnny just in time!

:lol:

No, I meant earning a quick 500 from renting the house out for a week.

Nick, your mate doesn't need to spend €500 on an alarm, the Aqualarm (triangle shaped jobby) was designed by Philips and we have found them to be about the most reliable in this range and generally only around €250-280.

Supervision is THE only safe form of monitoring, all these gadgets mean people rely on them instead of being always present at the pool.

David I would love to have a chat sometime.

The salt chlorine generator and other gite type regs we should discuss on the pool group thread.

I would er on understanding the HSE document but not paying too much attention to it as they themselves have been guilty of breaches of the act, for instance indoor pools in France have strict air quality standards but Britain doesn't which is against the safe working environment regulations. This is France and their rules are what count, silly though some of them are.

Hi Chris I must admit I haven't heard that a salt pool is not OK for gites. I have chlorine so it does not affect me but I do look after other holiday rentals for friends( lucky no one has salt but if it happens in the future that someone would like to change) and have never come across this. I would be very interested.

As most of the replies above 100% common sense David and very helpful. I think I know what I'll be telling my mate!

Weigh up €500 quick bucks or the consequences of an accident - as Gordon says it's a no brainer

Hi, I would be grateful if you could let me have the source for the info on gites and salt pools, as I have a gite and plan on putting in a salt pool. Thanks