Make the right kind of splash with your Hot Tubs and Pool

Howard Gosling



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What two words are people most likely to enter into a search engine when researching a UK holiday break? Forget scenic views, or even great food – what we really, really want it seems is a Hot Tub.

While a swimming pool remains perennially popular with holidaymakers (even if they don’t always get around to using it during their stay) it seems that the Hot Tub, with its rock star connotations is just the thing to set your holiday park apart from the competition.

While there has been a phenomenal growth in the number of Hot Tubs installed in leisure venues in recent years, it appears that not everyone is aware of how to look after them properly. However, failing to factor in the cost of maintenance from the start, can be a costly mistake which could at worst lead to serious infections for the user.

These days, Hot Tubs are now more likely to be made from acrylic rather than wood. There are a wide number of different sizes and types available but when picking out a design, it is essential to consider the daily maintenance cost rather than just the initial purchase price. This ‘lifetime cost’ of the Hot Tub can vary considerably. If you are picking out a Hot Tub for your holiday park, do ensure that you receive good advice on maintenance and buy from an established and respected source.


Another vital source of information on Spa Pools and Hot Tubs is the updated versionof L8 on The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems, which is an Approved Code of Practise and Guidance available as a hard copy of as a download from Just published is the Technical Guidance reference HSG 274 Part 2 covers The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Hot & Cold Water Systems and Part 3 covers The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Other Risk Systems.   This refers to a fairly comprehensive publication, which is currently being updated: Management of Spa Pools – Controlling the Risks of Infection ISBN 0-901144-80-0 which is also available as a free download One thing which is not well covered is Holiday Lodges with Hot Tubs, but BISHTA the British & Irish Hot Tub Association have their own Guidance on their website


When it comes to swimming pools there are also many different types available and some Holiday Park environments may prefer something that has been designed for serious swimming, while others will be looking for a pool that has been designed for fun.

Inevitably at some sites it seems that the original criteria will become a little lost over time. If this is the case, then a reputable swimming pool company should be invited to advise on how best the pool should be maintained in order to reflect its actual usage. They will be able to take into consideration turnover rates for the pool in order to optimise filtration for the number of bathers.

It is important not to overload a swimming pool, because all pools rely on filtration to help remove nasty intestinal bugs, such as Cryptosporidium, which is the only one that is not readily killed by Chlorination.

It is unlikely that any Environmental Health Officers will routinely take water samples for you, but there is an obligation for monthly routine testing. In recent years, European Standards for all non-domestic swimming pools have been introduced, which include items such as maximum grating sizes and a double width top tread on stainless steel ladders.

If your Holiday Park has a swimming pool then at least one employee should be trained as a Pool Plant Operator, which is a three-day course available from organisations such as CIMSPA and ISPE.

While Hot Tubs and swimming pools can be a huge draw for your holiday park, they also pose a massive risk if they are not adequately maintained. Make sure that you have considered how they will be used and by whom, from the start so that your holiday park makes it onto the internet search engines for all the right reasons.

Further reading:

If you have a pool or spa, make sure you have a copy of Swimming Pool Water (Treatment and Quality Standards for Pools and SpasISBN 0951700766 – published by PWTAG). There is also much free information on the website which covers such delightful points as what to do if there is faeces in your pool or vomit on the poolside. This advice is updated on a regular basis.

The Health & Safety Executive is currently updating its book entitled Managing Health & Safety in Swimming Pools HSG 179 ISBN 0-7176-2686-5 and this covers the requirements for supervision arrangements to safeguard pool users as well as general management of Health & Safety, including requirements for a Pool Safety Operating procedure (PSOP) which consists of a Normal Operating Plan (NOP) and the Emergency Action Plan (EAP).

Author Howard C.C. Gosling
BSc (Hons), MRSC, CBiol, FRSPH, FWMSoc, FISPE, MIMgt, MCMI Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor

September 9, 2014


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